Friday 8 July 2011

Furlongs, Woolwich

Furlong has been a familiar name in Woolwich since the early 19th century. Indeed, over the years, the Furlongs have been running many businesses, essentially in Powis Street. William Archdeacon's Greenwich & Woolwich directory for 1852 shows John and James Furlong working as auctioneers, house and estate agents, valuers and undertakers, cabinetmakers, and agents to the General Fire and Life Office.
The venture into the car business only began in the late 1940s or early 1950s. The website of Furlongs (motor engineer) Ltd claims "Yup, Still here after 60 years..." This is supported by a few lines in the 26 March 1952 issue of Motor in which one could read that Furlongs Ltd carried out repairs and sold spares for all models of cars, and that they also specialised in caravan chassis, axle, legs, and tow bracketts. The 1950s were certainly good years for Furlongs. The economy was growing and the number of cars on the roads was increasing steadily. As a result, the journal The Autocar could write in 1957 that
Mr. C. H. Singer has been appointed general manager of Furlongs, Ltd, 160, Powis Street, Woolwich, London, S.E. 18. He was formerly sales manager of University Motors, Ltd. At the present time Furlongs, who are Rover main agents, are building considerable extensions to their premises.
A picture taken c. 1965 shows Furlongs' showrooms on Powis Street. These are long gone and other businesses occupy the premises on Powis Street. However Furlongs retained the buildings at the back, between Powis Street and Woolwich High Street, which they use as off-street car parks. Nowadays the only cars sold by Furlongs are second-hand ones. Together with servicing, MOT, and car wash, it constitutes its core business.

& Callers
To Thoroughfare

Spares Petrol
Shop & Exit

Location: Woolwich High Street / Pictures taken on: 13/05/2011

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