Market Lavington Museum

A bill for car repairs

We have come across the Lavington and Devizes Motor Services Ltd quite often on these pages. They operated scheduled bus services in our part of Wiltshire and also had a fleet of charabancs capable of transporting parties of up to 600 people. Their fleet of vehicles needed maintenance and repair from time to time and such work was carried out at the company’s premises in The Market Place, Market Lavington. The company were able to use their facilities to service and repair the cars owned by wealthy people over quite an area. Today we look at a bill received by Mr Evans of Church Farm, Steeple Ashton, for work on his car. The bill is dated March 6th 1929.

Bill for car repairs by the Lavington and Devizes Motor Services Ltd

The work was quite substantial. The cylinder head was removed so that cylinders could be cleaned – decarbonising used to be a common job followed by grinding in the valves. Perhaps the job on the differential sounds most complex, involving welding and lathe work. It looks as though the work even involved repair and refitting of a rear curtain. Cars used to be fitted with a simple curtain mechanism which could be closed by the driver if he or she was dazzled by a following vehicle.

We see on the bill that the company managing director was F H Sawyer. Again, we have seen Fred before on these pages. Who was the person who signed to say he’d received the money? Signatures can be hard to read. Maybe a blog reader can help us with that.

In these days of 11 digit phone numbers the simplicity – almost quaintness of ‘Lavington 13’ seems amazing. But we can see that the company was quite substantial, with offices at Devizes and Shrewton as well as Market Lavington.

There are different ways of comparing the worth of money in the past with money in the present day. In terms of income, somebody who earned the money paid for this bill in 1929 would earn about £800 today.