Village garage moves home after 28 years

DM17523385a.jpg. Storrington Auto repairs is leaving Storrington after 28 years. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-170515-170430008
DM17523385a.jpg. Storrington Auto repairs is leaving Storrington after 28 years. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-170515-170430008

A family car repair business - once frequented by music legend Phil Collins - is moving out of Storrington after 28 years.

Storrington Auto Repairs in Old Mill Drive has been at the heart of village life since its inception but shut its doors for the last time on Tuesday.

Storrington Auto Repairs are moving to Durrington SUS-170517-152024001

Storrington Auto Repairs are moving to Durrington SUS-170517-152024001

The garage is to be demolished to make way for development proposals being put forward by landowners Waitrose.

The supermarket giant is seeking planning approval to make changes to a bus turning circle adjoining the garage with a view to selling the land for redevelopment.

Paul and Donna Gorringe have run Storrington Auto Repairs since 1989 when they leased the site from then owner James Williams.

Music legend Phil Collins was the first customer when the garage introduced self-service petrol in June 1988.

Phil Collins at Storrington Auto Repairs with James Williams and his late father Michael Williams SUS-170516-110219001

Phil Collins at Storrington Auto Repairs with James Williams and his late father Michael Williams SUS-170516-110219001

After starting the auto repair business the following year, the Gorringes are now relocating to a new site - Stedmans Garage at Durrington - but admit they are sad to leave the village.

Donna said: “We have made many happy memories and have served so many wonderful customers.”

She added: “The garage has served many purposes and was home to the Round Table Christmas Sleigh, it was our job to maintain the sleigh ready for Santa’s rounds.

“We also made torches for the Guy Fawkes’ firework Storrington procession, bath tubs were designed and made at the site in readiness for the Adur bath tub race and we were also heavily involved with the annual Storrington Carnival.

“All these events were thoroughly enjoyed by fellow members of the Round Table and as such we and our children have become life-long friends.”

Now Donna and Paul, whose son Mark, 32, started as an apprentice at the garage when he was 16, hope that customers will stay loyal to them when they move to their new premises.

Mark now runs Stedmans and will be joined by eight of the Storrington garage staff. They include Tony Wells who has been with the firm since it first opened; Terry Tafft who has worked for the garage for 10 years; and Ionie Gamble, partner of the Gorringe’s youngest son Wesley. Ashley Sivers who has worked for the garage since 2003 is moving to pastures new.

The Gorringe’s daughter Georgina also used to work at the Storrington garage but now lives in Thailand.

Added Donna: “It certainly is an end of an era but we are looking forward to a successful future and keeping in touch with all our lovely friends and customers we have made over the past 28 years.”