The Vickery family Service Garage at Little Wakering Corner, Great Wakering, started in a small shed in Chandler’s Yard, at the Bell public house, home. The garage now stands in a prominent position at the beginning of the High street, with a staff of thirty-five, including five working directors.

Its main concern is a recovery service and the last six years have of 500%. Apart from the shopping facilities now available, it station and does all kinds of general car repairs.

Its has been very much a family business since 1946. Mrs Alice Vickery, who still puts in a few hours a week doing the books, explained how she and her husband, Bert, who died in 1966, got started, “We were saving up to buy a boat. Then one day Bert came home  and said he was fed up with working for other people. So he went to the Chandlers and asked if he could rent their shed. They said ‘yes’. My twins were ten at the time. I’d get them off to school in the morning, and then I used to clean the motor parts in paraffin and give them to Bert as he asked for them. When we were finally able to afford it, we got another mechanic and it grew from there. We took a bit of a gamble and it paid off!”

Alice, generally called Lall by most people, says she’s been working for so long now she can’t get out of the habit. She recalls how her great treat as a child was to walk to Wakering from Shoebury, where she lived. “We used to go into the Anchor pub, us kids in the garden, and then we’d walk across Lion Field. It was like going abroad in those days!”