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Morgan's garage in Drayton celebrating 70th birthday

PUBLISHED: 16:36 07 November 2017

Keith Morgan celebrating the 70th anniversary of his family business Morgan's of Drayton. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Keith Morgan celebrating the 70th anniversary of his family business Morgan's of Drayton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

When Morgan's Motor Engineers was launched, our roads were graced by the likes of the Ford Anglia, Austin A70 and Hillman Minx.

Keith Morgan celebrating the 70th anniversary of his family business Morgan's of Drayton. Pictured, right, with John Vaughan and Alan Wright, who have been customers since 1969.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYKeith Morgan celebrating the 70th anniversary of his family business Morgan's of Drayton. Pictured, right, with John Vaughan and Alan Wright, who have been customers since 1969. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

In post-war 1947, car ownership was rare and the roads were quiet.

Now, 70 years on, cars are state-of-the-art, roads are heaving, but one constant remains - Morgan’s.

The family business on Fakenham Road, Drayton is this month celebrating seven decades of motor servicing. Terry Morgan first established the business in November 1947, building the workshop on the site of a 1624 barn whose metal tether rings can still be found on the walls.

The business grew, employing around 16 people during the 50s and 60s. One employee was Terry’s son Keith, who began working in the garage at of 15.

Keith Morgan celebrating the 70th anniversary of his family business Morgan's of Drayton which was started by his dad Terry (pictured in 1960). 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYKeith Morgan celebrating the 70th anniversary of his family business Morgan's of Drayton which was started by his dad Terry (pictured in 1960). Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Terry’s wife Nancy, who worked in the office, died in 1987, and Terry followed her seven weeks later. Today Keith is at the helm of Morgan’s Motor Engineers and his son William is a partner in the business.

Mr Morgan said a lot had changed over the intervening 70 years, both in terms of cars and their owners.

He said: “People used to take more pride in their cars on the whole. When age-related registration plates came in, people became a little bit disheartened if they had an old car. Before that people would polish up their vehicles and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

“We still have a lot of lovely well looked after cars coming through, in great condition, but we live in more of a fast-paced throw away world now.”

Keith Morgan celebrating the 70th anniversary of his family business Morgan's of Drayton. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYKeith Morgan celebrating the 70th anniversary of his family business Morgan's of Drayton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

He added: “Years ago, if you didn’t take your car to be serviced it would eventually run so poorly that you had to get it serviced. Now, with electronic ignitions and what have you, people just keep driving them - we’ve had cars come in that have gone 30,000 miles without an oil change.”

Mr Morgan said keeping the family business alive had taken a lot of hard work, but it had been a labour of love from the start.

He said: “Cars are in the Morgan blood. We live cars. They are our hobby and our job. We spend our working hours around cars and we spend our free time around cars. Because of this passion we do things properly and thoroughly, and discerning customers appreciate that.”

As to whether Morgan’s Motor Engineers might one day celebrate its 140th birthday, Mr Morgan was uncertain.

He said: “Well I shall be very crotchety then. But I just don’t know; I certainly hope so.”

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