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Birth of a Garage

Torver 1923  -  Birth of a Garage                by Pat Barr

Mr. Robert Boyren bought Beckstones Farm for £600.  He bought it with tenants in the property.  As he and his wife Ethel could not move into Beckstones, they decided in the meantime to erect another property to live in.  They purchased, for £27, a building from an Army Camp on Walney.  The building, which arrived in sections, had been used as accommodation for Officers.  Mr. Boyren, with the help of Old Bill Jackson and his son (Oiler) Bill, built the bungalow that still stands behind Hadwin’s Garage.

Baby Alan Boyren was born in the bungalow in 1927.  The photographs show Alan as a toddler, and with Old Bill Jackson aged 70 years, in the garden of the bungalow, just about where Lakeland Landrover stands today. 

Robert Boyren, from Swedish and Scottish descent, came to England from Sweden to serve his time in Vickers Shipbuilding, and never left.  He kept a lot of hens, as did many of the inhabitants of Torver at that time, with hen huts in every field.  He then opened a garage with one petrol pump.  As passing cars were rare in those days his main business in the garage was charging Accumulator Wireless batteries and selling bottled pop which was sealed with a marble in the bottle neck and opened by pushing a wooden tool into the bottle to release the pop.  The original Garage in Torver was a wooden building, which is in the photograph behind young Alan who seems to be busy baking a cake.

One day, Old Bill and his son arrived at the Boyren’s and told them that they had been kicked out of Town End Cottage, (which are now the buildings on the road passed Bank End where Cooper’s house some of their livestock).  Alan’s father had been  building a  hen hut  down near the  waterfall so he put a lining in it and a stove and the Jackson’s moved in.  In return they kept an eye on the sheep.  Oiler Bill came one morning to tell Mr. and Mrs. Boyren that his father had died in bed after supper the previous night.  Knowing that father and son shared a double bed, they enquired where young Bill had slept.  His reply was, “I got in with him.  The old b****r didn’t do me any harm when he was alive so I knew he wouldn’t do me any now he was dead.”

When The Boyren’s moved into Beckstones, Robert still ran the garage and Miss Rigmaden rented the bungalow.  The bungalow’s next tenants were Billy and Amy Barr, who lived there and ran the garage, which they were still running when the Second World War broke out.

Alan Boyren spent his childhood in Torver.  He can’t remember accurately when he moved into Beckstones, but it could have be when he was about three years old.  He didn’t go to school until he was seven.  Torver School had closed by this time and Alan went to Coniston School.  He began his working life in farming and after a lifetime in the industry he has retired and lives in Blawith where his son Robert carries on the family farm.  His daughter Jane is a resident of  Torver and is married to Torver born Steven.