I photographed Big Minnow skate-boarding down Pound Hill this afternoon, in front of a terrace of fine brick and flint cottages, which were workshops during the early 20th century. He’s just passed a modern brick garage building with a green door: this was the site of a bicycle repair shop in 1900 (see the photo in Alresford Heritage). By the time Hambone Junior and Company arrived in 1943, the cycle shop belonged to Dudley Grace, and Derry and Stan Warwick were working for him, welding vehicles and trailers in the flint workshop next door.
Hambone’s comrades included teams of GIs who were assembling and waterproofing Sherman tanks in The Dean, then testing them in the river. And when they departed in June 1944, as well as leaving parcels and coins for the children (‘The Cricketers’), they left engineering tools and equipment which benefitted local businesses. The Warwick brothers bought Dudley’s business in 1956 and grew it into Warwick Trailers, the international company based in The Dean today. The present owner, Chris Jones, is Derry Warwick’s son-in-law. He recalls that the original trailer colour was grey, because of the copious amounts of military grey paint available after the war, and that jeeps were still being used to move the trailers around the factory yard in the 1960s!
Many people have helped me piece together this week’s post: Richard Knasel, Chris Jones, Ann Hone and Godfrey Andrews, thank you!