From the moment we first visited the site we could see that there was a lot of 'stuff' on site. Some of it can be classified as 'archive'; other bits are obviously home made, but much defies easy definition, so it's shown here under the not very helpful title 'other things'.
There were lots of machines on site. Some, like the lathe shown below, appear to have been used quite recently; others have been unused for years. There is a window behind the wooden cupboard - revealed later when the basement was cleared.
The lathe was in the basement of 7 Central Hill - a basement that was pretty much wedged with 'stuff'. It took until September 2012 to get round to really clearing that basement and as we did so we got to see things that had not beens seen for decades - including a cooking range that dates from the 19th century. There was a similar (but even more delapidated!) range in the basement of number 5 Central Hill. The window between the rooms in the basement was obviously there to make the best of very limited light - before the basement was fitted out with lots of cupboards etc!
These bigger machines were in the yard of number 7 which had been used to manufacture mopeds as well as repairing cars and small commercial vehicles.
We particularly liked this one - it is a hearth for metal working and although it appears to have an electric blower, there is a hand operated bellows still in place!! This hearth was buried under about a metre of junk.
A gem in the junk that took a little while to spot and even longer to dig out, was a Morris Minor. The car appears to have been registered in Croydon in the summer of 1963 and last had road tax in 1987 - so it will need a lot of TLC if it is to run again, (but Blue Doors does tlc, so see below!)
In repairing the roof of the yard, we had to move the car. Alistair pumped the tyres and moved it showing that the brakes were not seized as feared.
Just inside the passenger side door was this rather nice plate showing that the car was bought from Lendon Brothers in South Norwood.
Car went for restoration on 1st February 2012.
A month later it had been started up and was (just about) a runner - it still needs more work, but it is getting there.
July 2012 - back on the road.
August 2012 back at the rear of shop seen from juicebar/coffee shop (it is not kept there!)
and now for something completely different...
To find out what happened to Central Cycle and Auto Stores see: http://www.bluedoorbicycles.com.