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According to a January 1959 Northwoods Austin 7 catalogue they opened in 1924, doesn't say where. "On March 1st,1958 a new Spare Parts and Accessories store was opened at 34/36 Newington Causeway. Part Self-Service, our stores have a 60ft Counter run, Display stands, linked by intercommunication by 12 Relay Sets from our main store at 45/47 Newington Causeway. We can now claim that we have the most modern and up to date spares service in London. Post war and Prewar"
As an interesting footnote
We can supply an overseas KIT OF ESSENTIAL SPARES on a cash or return basis, less 10% handling charge, plus charge for spares used"
Try asking for that these days. cheers Russell
The present incarnation of the Northwoods business seems to be Northwoods Taxi Spares, now moved to Bermondsey and run by a guy called Nat Carpenter. Their website would be a good starting point. Also if you can track down John Kirkby, the white metalling specialist, he has lived and worked in Croydon all his life and always been involved with old cars, so he might possibly have recollection of the Croydon shop. I once loaned my Austin 7 van to Northwoods to display in the Newington Causeway shop for a promotional event, which I suspect was their 50th Anniversary of trading.
When I bought my Box Saloon in 1970, a Causeway Auto catalogue was in with all the stuff that came with it. As I still have the car, I still have the catalogue
I did visit the shop once in the early 70s when I had to go on a course close by - I can remember it being stacked floor to ceiling with stuff and, when I hesitantly asked if they had Austin 7 stuff, the guy who I spoke to visibly perked up and led me through to a back room full of it!
My catalogue is dated November 1968.
Page 1: Exchange rebored block with pistons, refaced valve seats and studs, £7/10/-
Please form an orderly queue..
Happy to provide scans, should you wish. Contact me off-line..
Thank you very much, Dave! This gives me a much clearer picture of the relationship between Northwoods and Causeway Autos.
David Waller tells me that Causeway Autos was taken over by Northwoods (presumably Harry Northwood specifically) around 1970/1 and that it was already known for supplying A7 parts at that point. Does that sound consistent with your memories?
What does “W.D.” stand for, please?
As you've actually been to the Croydon shop, you may be interested to see a photo of it today — it's part of a grocery shop now, on the far left in this photo.
WD = War Department ie ex military stock. WD was stamped on just about everything military.
These days we'd say things were Government or Military Surplus as sold here http://www.anchorsupplies.com/
Location: North Yorkshire
Here are copies of some pages from the Northwoods Austin Seven Catalogue form Oct 1956.
HOP2820 is the counter telephone number.
Their Exchange service is mentioned as well as their Spares Kit for travelling abroad.
Also Austin 7 Spares from 1924.
In the early 1960's, when I was restoring my first Austin Seven, I remember travelling by tube from Wood Green, North london to the Elephant and Castle with my Austin Seven block in a holdall, taking it to Northwoods for rebore. Two weeks later the same journey to collect the item.
Those were the days.
Of course - no problem.
John Kirkby White Metalling & Engine Rebuilding Services: Rear of 57 Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon, Surrey CR0 6PQ (access from Marland Avenue), Telephone: 020 8688 2127
Location: Almost but not quite, the far North East of England
Northwoods, also had a branch in the High St West Wickham (Kent)
Location: near 28 M25
In the light of your research and re-reading the line in the catalogue, it seems likely the quote 'since 1924' refers to the sale of Austin 7 spares only, and the business was in existence earlier. cheers Russell
Dear Kake - I really believe the friends web site has pulled bunny out of the bag in this research - The management would like to thank every one that has contributed in such a positive way.
Sometimes, sadly, people don't channel all their efforts in such a positive and coherent way that we would wish, this is a demonstration of what can be achieved when they do.
Please could we have a final copy of your research to add to the site archives?.
Again well done everyone - The management
Kake many thanks - This will become a feature in the archives of the site.
A photo of you would be good as well so we can dedicate the story to you.
This is actually what we created the web site for!!.
To round off this thread, here are a couple of invoices from my files. The West Wickham shop was run as Northwoods and the Croydon shop as Causeway Autos - I've no idea why this was, but I think neither of these branches carried any Austin Seven stock. The London Road invoice was almost certainly in fact written out in the Newington Causeway shop. I can remember sitting with Harry Northwood in the back office of the West Wickham branch, but have no recollection at all of the Croydon Branch. From the early 1970's-on,their Austin Seven spares service was being quietly run down and by the end of the Seventies I had cleared all the remaining stock, although I continued to deal with Northwoods into the 1980's. I now think the occasion they borrowed my A7 van for a promotion must have been in the Eighties for their 60th Anniversary.
My article referencing Causeway Autos has now been published: the history of 65 London Road. Thanks again to everyone who helped with my research!
As previously mentioned, I'm happy for The Management to put a copy of the relevant parts of this article (or even the whole thing) in the site archives — just make sure it's credited to me, and please also include the link above, as I sometimes amend or add to articles after publication, e.g. if I come across new evidence or images.