Mystery deepens over car dealership

UNCERTAINTY still surrounded the site of a car dealership in Wickham Market today with no-one able to say why the business has suddenly closed.Customers complained that they had not been told of the closure of Jewell's in High Street and only found out because the Evening Star had revealed the premises had been left empty.

UNCERTAINTY still surrounded the site of a car dealership in Wickham Market today with no-one able to say why the business has suddenly closed.

Customers complained that they had not been told of the closure of Jewell's in High Street and only found out because the Evening Star had revealed the premises had been left empty.

A number of people had been booked in for car services and MOTs this week.

Elizabeth Smith, of Tacon Road, Felixstowe, said: "We booked in for an MOT three weeks ago and everything seemed fine.

"We then rang again about ten days ago to ask for something else on the car to be done at the same time and no-one said they would be closing down.

"If I had not seen it in the paper, I would not have known it had closed. I would have been very angry to have driven all the way to Wickham Market to discover they were not there any more.

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"It should have been common courtesy for them to tell all their customers.

"As it is we have had to rush round and find someone else to do the MOT."

Villagers said staff cleared out of the premises last week, taking everything with them and the cars stored on site were also removed.

There have been problems at the business this year and police were asked to investigate after several cars were damaged in two vandalism attacks.

It is understood acid or paint stripper was poured into expensive cars.

The premises comprise a large servicing centre, reception and offices, sales centre, portable buildings and an old boarded up property. Barriers have been locked into place at the front to prevent access.

Estimated to be more than one-acre, villagers have been left wondering what will become of the site now.

It is a prestigious site as it is close to the entrance into Wickham Market and has the village playing field, play area and hall behind it.

The business, which operated under a parent company Mendlefleet Ltd, was run by Mark Jewell. It previously operated from Barrack Square at Martlesham where it displayed cars on one of the county's busiest roundabouts, but moved from there to Wickham Market.

Companies House records should the business is still registered and active.

No-one was available from Jewell's to comment today.

Did you work at Jewell's or do you know what has happened to the business – let us know how you feel about the loss of the service and sales centre. Contact the Newsdesk on 01394 284109.

What do you think should happen to the site now? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk