Howdenshire History

Glew's Garage, Goole: George Alan Glew

Goole History > Goole People & Families > George Alan Glew


GEORGE ALAN GLEW (1926 - 2006)

The following obituary appeared in the Goole Times:

'George Alan Glew, the last eponymous owner of Glew’s Garage died peacefully, after a short illness, in Boston, Lincolnshire on April 26.

George Alan Glew – known as Alan to his friends - was born in Goole on 9 April 1926, the only son of John Glew of Goole and Alice Smith, a classical singer, from Glossop, Lancashire.

It was his great grand-father, George Glew, originally a farmer in Glew’s Hollow, Lincolnshire, who set the family on the road to supplying townsfolk with a means of transport by establishing a blacksmith’s in North Street, Goole in 1856; a few years after the formation of the town.

From ensuring horses were well shod to making early bicycles and Penny Farthings, the business developed into a general blacksmiths called G.R. Glew & Sons, run by George’s son, George Richard Glew, which began to deal in early motorised two, three and four wheeled vehicles. He was the first person to import Model T Fords into Goole, retaining the wooden packing cases as these formed the floorboards of the vehicle.

Between the wars, the business relocated into a new landmark building (noted for its lettering on the roof) at its present position on the Rawcliffe Road between Airmyn and Goole. During the Second World War Glew's Garage was requisitioned by the government for the construction of 110 foot wings for the Hamilcar, which saw service during the D-Day landings. This was the largest wooden glider the RAF ever operated and was the forerunner of the Blackburn Beverley transport aircraft.

Alan Glew attended Drax School and Goole Grammar School, and as a teenager, he would periodically help his father on this war work prior to serving his apprenticeship at an engineering works in Thorne; re-joining the family business in 1948. Like many men of his generation, he was called up for National Service. Following his stint in the RAF, Alan Glew returned to Glew’s Garage, taking over the running of the business in 1960.

From a couple of petrol pumps close to the main garage building, Alan Glew developed the forecourt and surrounding site for the Regent and then Texaco petrol franchises, took on more staff for car repairs, servicing and breakdown work, and increased car sales through exclusive dealerships first with Rootes, then with Chrysler and finally with Talbot.

Alan Glew was one of the first people to import go-karts into this country and established one of the first recovery clubs for members (400 at its peak), which was later bought by the National Breakdown Recovery Club (NBRC) now known as Green Flag. Alan Glew always had a passion for breakdown recovery trucks, inspired no doubt by his father who converted a Rolls Royce hearse into a recovery vehicle just after the First World War.

In 1975, Alan Glew became an Associate Member of the Institute of the Motor Industry (AMIMI Tech. Eng.) and had begun to play a more active part in the Lions Club - a body devoted to raising money for charity - becoming its President in 1973-74. As a pastime, Alan Glew enjoyed restoring vintage cars, particularly Austin 7s, taking the family on car rallies around the country. This was also an opportunity to take the family on visits to stately homes and museums (usually with a car theme!). Trade fairs, bonfire night parties for staff and friends, and Christmas decorations for the showroom were annual events for the garage business.

Glew's Garage was in an ideal spot when the M62 arrived with no services either side of the business for many miles. The junction to Goole and surrounding areas soon became known by the garage’s name. Further developments were made enabling Alan Glew to sell the garage in 1978 to another local family firm, Jos Richardson & Son. Alan and his wife, Elizabeth (known as Betty or Beth to close friends) later moved to Beverley where they successfully ran The Woolpack public house; building up the clientele much as they had done at Glew's Garage.

Alan Glew enjoyed his retirement in Lincolnshire, often meeting up with friends from Goole and surrounding areas. He was proud that his eldest son, Graeme and his grandson Philip continued the family tradition by working in motor sport.

He is survived by his wife, Beth and two sons, Graeme and Adrian and one daugher, Elizabeth.'

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