Saturday, 26 October 2013
The 1974 Series. I welcome any suggestions about certain trades in those days to write about, viz. hatters, book-sellers, restaurants or whatever!
The first topic is going to be car dealerships and distributors in central Belfast mainly because, as a little boy in shorts, I simply adored motor-cars and car show-rooms. Which ones did I frequent?
Mostly Thompson-Reid's and Charles Hurst. Thompson-Reid's show-room at the Supermac Shopping Centre was a place I often visited, and the sales men invariably indulged me.
Thompson-Reid limited had their head office and show-room at 14-16 Donegall Square East, and the show-room went right back to Upper Arthur Street, where there was a petrol station.
They were the main dealers for Austin Cars at the time. They also had premises at the aforementioned Supermac shopping centre.
Charles Hurst Limited was the other big dealership in Belfast which sold British marques, their show-rooms being at 44-54 Chichester Street and 17-27 Montgomery Street.
W H Alexander Limited distributed Morris and Wolseley cars at the aptly named Morris House, 90-108 Victoria Street.
Stanley Harvey Limited, at 4 Clarence Street West had, I believe, the concession for Rolls-Royce.
The main Ford dealers were J E Coulter Limited, at 78-82 Antrim road and 38-42 Chichester Street; and R E Hamilton Limited, at 32 Linen Hall Street.
Isaac Agnew was considerably smaller, in commercial terms, than it is now. They were main Volkswagon dealers at North Howard Street, Lisburn Road and Falls Road.
A S Baird Limited specialized in Chrysler, Humber, Hillman, Sunbeam and Simca. GHQ was Humber House, 26-30 Ormeau Avenue and 62-66 Bedford Street.
Clarence Engineering Limited, of 24 Ormeau Avenue and Bankmore Street, sold Triumph and Standard cars.
W H Connolly were at 118-124 Donegall Pass and, I think, sold Citroen cars.
Dick and company, Donegall Street - Fiat cars.
Geddis Cars, 28 Linen Hall Street - Datsun (now Nissan!).
David Marshall Limited was the main Vauxhall dealer at 17 Bedford Street.
Have I omitted any?
First published in May, 2010.