Heacham family garage to close after 70 years of service

John Stainsby outside the family garage at Heacham, showing the old pictures ANL-150907-120649009
John Stainsby outside the family garage at Heacham, showing the old pictures ANL-150907-120649009
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An independent family run garage which has been serving the people of Heacham for more than 70 years is up for sale.

The late Reg Stainsby started up the R J Stainsby & Son garage shortly after the Second World War before being joined in the business by his son John in 1958.

Over the years they have run a fleet of coaches, repaired cars, sold petrol and much more.

Now John, who lives in Old Hunstanton, is looking to retire at the age of 77 and is selling the garage, which will close its doors this week.

Mr Stainsby, who is looking forward to doing “absolutely nothing”, said: “I would like to thank the many loyal and faithful customers who have supported us over the last 70 years.

“I would also like to thank present and past staff for their help.

“We have built up a reputation for being fair and square.”

Reg first started out in business during 1933 when he began selling bicycles and radio accumulator batteries in Heacham.

He would deliver and pick up charged batteries to homes around Heacham to ensure families could continue to listen to their radios.

But things were put on hold when the Second World War broke out.

Reg left behind the radios and became a plane mechanic. As a part of these duties he was required to test fly the planes he had repaired.

After the war ended in 1945, Reg returned to Heacham and opened up a garage on the A149.

He sold the odd car, petrol and conducted vehicle repairs.Gradually the business grew.

The next step was to buy a 28-seater coach which he used to take children to schools in Hunstanton, Dersingham and Lynn.

The coach fleet soon grew to six coaches, which ferried football and darts teams, along with providing trips out to Blackpool and Great Yarmouth. The coaches remained part of the business until the 1980s.

After completing his national service, John joined his father in the firm during 1958.

It then became R J Stainsby & Son. They took on franchises starting with the Rootes Group, when they sold Hillman, Humber, Sunbeam and Commer vans, before moving onto Ford.

The filling station, convenience store and car wash opened in 1991.

But sadly competition from large supermarkets in the petrol market caused the filling station to close last year.