Apollo Garage, Watts Lane, Teddington

by Colin Durnford

Sadly, brothers John and Mick Edrupt retired from Apollo Garage in Watts Lane in early November after taking care of their customers since 1986.

John and Mick both started in the motor trade aged 16, completing their 5-year apprenticeships at the Kingston Motor Annex (part of the Kingston College of Further Education – K.C.F.E.) round the back of the old police station. Following a number of years working in Mitcham they saw an advert in the Evening Standard for vacant premises in Teddington. They moved here in May 1986. Despite it’s Olympian connotations, the name Apollo was actually chosen because it was most likely to be one of the first listings in the various trade Directories!

Six staff were employed over the years and Apollo were one of the first garages to offer a 2-year apprenticeship to a woman and some 25 years later they are still looking after her family members’ cars.

Talking about vehicles, their comprehensive records show that around 87,000 vehicles have been looked after over the past 34 years. John remembers that one of the more interesting jobs was an MOT test and service on a 1908 French car, similar to a Model T Ford. Unfortunately it failed its MOT test on its tyres and new ones needed to be ordered which were so rare it took the owners more than 2-months to find replacements for the solid rubber tyres on the wooden wheels!

Over the years John and Mick have witnessed many changes in Teddington especially the departure of fishmongers and green grocers and the arrival of Marks and Spencers. Even with the wide range of sandwiches that they supply, John has, throughout his time in Teddington, always gone to – what is now – the Cavan bakery for his regular sandwich. Filling? Whatever looked good on the day. Mick makes his own!

John and Mick are both really looking forward to their retirement. John will enjoy his golf and relaxing with a few beers whilst Mick hopes to travel far and wide (when allowed) and to restore a classic Ford Corsair. (Please contact him if anyone has one for sale).

Apollo will be continuing as a garage under new ownership and they hope that the new owners will have the same good relationship with clients in the future.

Finally, John and Mick would like to thank all their customers and friends over the years and wish everyone health and happiness over the coming months.

Colin Durnford has been a resident in Teddington since 1957 and has taken a variety of cars to Apollo Garage since they first opened starting with his Toyota Crown up to, most recently, a Jaguar X-Type.  He is currently writing a book about his life and ancestry and Apollo Garage will obviously feature.

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