Garage owners retire after 50 years

A HUSBAND and wife team who have run a village garage for more than 50 years have decided that as they look forward to their 80s, perhaps it is time to retire.

A HUSBAND and wife team who have run a village garage for more than 50 years have decided that as they look forward to their 80s, perhaps it is time to retire.

Victor and Joan Jeffries will close their St Edmunds Garage, in Bacton near Stowmarket, from the end of this month, unless a buyer can be found to take it on.

The couple started the business from scratch 51 years ago and are well known locally for serving agricultural, commercial and private customers since the 1950s. But at 82 and 79 respectively, Mr and Mrs Jeffries feel perhaps it is time to enjoy some more free time.

Their son Philip Jeffries, who runs Station Garage the Nissan and Proton specialists in the village, is continuing the family tradition as his nearby firm continues to flourish.

Mr Jeffries, a mechanic since 16, always wanted to run his own business. The couple started out with just themselves, adding a number of mechanics through the years as the business took off.

They have worked mainly in repairs, but some sales too, and have serviced combine harvesters, tractors, lorries, MOTs, as well as selling petrol. They have added more commercial buildings as they took on more work, at times working in to the night as they repaired lorries to ensure they were ready for the drivers the next day.

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During the years they have seen cars become less boxy, faster, more comfortable and vehicles a lot cleaner to repair.

Mr Jeffries, who lives in Bacton, said: "People are more disappointed than surprised to see us go, people have said they thought I would never give up. We have never made a lot of money, but have enjoyed ourselves.''

His wife, who does the books and tax returns, added: "We have kept going for so long by working hard it, giving our all and never putting anyone off.

"It's been about giving real service, we wanted to serve the community. We are sad to see it go, our customers are more like friends, but you have got to be sensible. But we never thought of going at 55 like some people do these days. What would we have done with ourselves?''

The couple plan to stay in Bacton and enjoy more holidays.

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