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Essex Norton Dealer 1970’s

Firstly an apology but this query didn’t seem to fit into any of the forum categories.  Can anyone please tell me the name of the Norton dealers that used to be on the London Road in Westcliff-on-sea, Essex?  I remember it was run by two brothers and was there until the mid 70’s.

Regards to all

Rick

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You aren't thinking of J Costin at 237-242 London Road Westcliffe-on-Sea?

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Hi Ian, no.  The dealer I am thinking about is further west (beyond Chalkwell Park).  Based on Google Streetview I think the address was 826 London Road.  Saunders?  

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A.H. Saunders at 826 London Road, Leigh on Sea are shown as Norton agents in the list of dealers supplied to those who helped with the Factory Records project some years back. Unfortunately, there is no further detail, nor indication of period of activity.

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Excellent! Thank you Richard.  It has been bugging me for weeks!

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I lived locally at the time and used to visit Saunders' Leigh-on-Sea shop. Only one of the brothers was around in the mid 1970s and the large showroom, set back from the road with parking around, was timber floored and the walls filled with old racing photographs and memorabilia. It all looked and felt more like the late 1930s than any other period. It would have been wonderful if someone had spent 20 minutes in there with a video camera and had Mr Saunders recall his business history. What would we film today knowing it will be gone and unrecorded in 50 years?

If I can remember correctly, they had been actively involved in racing Velocettes and although they had the Norton interest that seemed to be secondary. I obtained an insurance assessment from Mr Saunders for minor damage to my Mk3 Commando in 1977 and the building closed shortly after that date.

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In the 1974 ed Worldwide Dealer list

A. H. Saunders Motors Ltd.

826 London Rd

Leigh-on-Sea

Tel Southend-on-Sea 76213

In reply to by norman_lorton

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My interest in Norton’s started in 1972  when, aged 14, I spotted a Commando in a shop window.  I have been trying to rack my brains to remember the name of the shop - thanks to everyone’s responses I now know it was Saunders.  Over the next 3 years I became a regular visitor and got to know Bert a little.  He was the front man whilst his brother ran the workshop side (his brother had been a pre and post war racer who raced all over Europe including Germany in the mid and late thirties).   As you say Norman, the shop was timeless and Bert was always very generous with his time encouraging a young rider even when I used to turn up on Japanese machinery!  I remember when they took delivery of a John Player Norton - I had never seen such a sexy piece of machinery!   Eventually, almost exactly 50 years to the day, I bought the 750 Commando I had so admired in 1972!

Thank you everyone.  

 


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