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H Flack & Son - Flacks of Amersham

With grateful thanks to Malcolm Flack for providing all the details and pictures on this page.

H Flack & Son Ltd - White Lion Road, Amersham Common

Later to become Flacks of Amersham

Thought to be one of the earliest garages in the area. Founded by the late Herbert Flack Snr. who had traveled with his wife and family down to Amersham from London in a T model Ford, probably luxury transport for the early 1920s. He took temporary residence at Little Reeves Farm nearby whilst he considered the local area. It was then on 9 November 1921 that Herbert signed the deeds for some land in White Lion Road Amersham Common. He soon started laying the first foundations of a bungalow in which he would eventually be living and without further delay added alongside the first stage of the garage as such. This led to the build up of the business which was to be his sole source of income for many years thereafter.

Not long after he also purchased a nearby house called “Maud Villa” and its extensive garden on the other side of the road with long term expansion plans in mind for the business. The town they had come to was small – population then was about five thousand and very old fashioned by modern standards. Steam trains ran along the local railway line nearby and the stations were lit by candles and oil lamps. He adopted the name “Stanley Garage “ in the early years but it was phased out some years later in favour of the name H Flack which was suffixed later with “& Son” . All the family took part in establishing the business, first with repairing cycles, motorcycles, and it was also the place to get ones two volt acid accumulators charged for the new era of radios which were beginning to appear. At the same time he also offered engineering services to motorists and the local gentry. By 1925 petrol pumps worked by hand had been installed with several popular brands of fuel available. The petrol was also sold in two gallon cans. It was not long before car sales were to be added to the business and the Austin Motor Company awarded the business a local franchise.

Flacks of Amersham
Picture courtesy of
Malcolm Flack

H Flack - Stanley Garage  c.1922
Herbert Flack Junior (2nd from left) and staff

Picture courtesy of Malcolm Flack

H Flack - Stanley Garage c.1926
Herbert Willliam ("Little Bertie") Flack
Note -  Emily Flack's Sweetshop on the left under the canopy.

The next main landmark was in 1933 when the Singer Motor Company appointed Flack's to be their agents for the local area and the success and reputation in fact spread far beyond. The result being that a Main Dealership for South Bucks was soon forthcoming and which was to last many years. In the meantime, this caused a contractual disagreement with the Austin Motor Company, who soon placed the franchise with another local family business which had also been opened nearby, namely Munn & Chapman at Little Chalfont.

Picture courtesy of Malcolm Flack

H Flack - Stanley Garage c.1932
Austin Demo Cars

Picture courtesy of Malcolm Flack

H Flack - Stanley Garage c.1933
First Singer "Show Week" display

Throughout the foregoing years of building up the business, Herbert Snr. had alongside him his son Herbert William (“Little Bertie” as he was known) together with his sister Ivy, both who endlessly toiled to help give the best of service that the customers would come to appreciate. Adjacent to the motors Herbert Snr’s. Wife Emily set up a “Sweetshop” and a groceries facility in the front room of what was then the family’s accommodation. The popularity of the motor car created the need for engineers to maintain them. A stable workforce was established and amongst those who gave exemplary service to keep the wheels turning were such names as George Foster, Reg Renshaw, Len Freeman, Bob Reading, Len Attridge, Bert Cook and Bill Moreton. World War II saw some of these staff conscripted to do their duty, all of whom were able to return.

Picture courtesy of Malcolm Flack

H Flack & Son - 1934
Second Singer "Show Week"  display

Picture courtesy of Malcolm Flack

H Flack & Son - 1934
Third Singer "Show Week" display
Bill Moreton was one of those who then took on the role of chief mechanic and went on then giving many years of very loyal service until his retirement in the mid 1960’s.

Picture courtesy of Malcolm Flack

Bill Moreton c.1922 – c.1965 Chief Mechanic
A new generation of Singer Cars were being sold and serviced in the early 1950’s. In 1957 Herbert Snr. passed away after a short illness and his son Herbert William took over. Sister Ivy at this time went into retirement to look after her then aged widowed mother. At this time “Maud Villa” was released from his estate as it had not been possible to fully incorporate it in the garage operations. The garage was rebuilt, showrooms added and equipment updated. Mid 1959, Malcolm Flack the elder grandson of the founder then returned to the business after national service and took over control of the spare parts department.

Early in 1960 grandson Brian, became part of the management side of the business, preserving the independent family servicing that was always a feature of Flacks Garage. In the meantime the Singer Motor Company became absorbed into the Rootes Group opening up another new era for the company. It gave access to the Hillman & Commer brand as retail dealers, along with Rootes Motor parts stockists. This then led on to Chrysler and Simca being added to the portfolio. In 1970 one of the workshop staff Ray Kaley was appointed to the position of Service Manager.

H Flack and Son Amersham 1950
Picture courtesy of Malcolm Flack

H Flack & Son - 1950

During 1972 Herbert Jnr. (Bertie - as he was always known) decided that he would retire and another local well established family business Davenport Vernon & Co Ltd from High Wycombe acquired the business

Picture courtesy of Malcolm Flack

H Flack & Son Ltd - 1972
Soon after the name “Flacks of Amersham” became the new trading title. Changes of the appointed franchise saw “Talbot” and “Chrysler” brand names appear at the site.

The new management poured a considerable investment in to the site culminating with a full re-development of the premises.

An opportunity for expanding the site even further then became apparent and the land at the west end of the site was purchased with a plan to operate a petrol filling station. This did not work out successfully and was relinquished to a major petroleum company who finally opened a filling station and a car wash.

After a short while, alongside the car operations came a Five Star Honda Motor Cycle Franchise known as Flack Honda as an added source of revenue.
Flack Honda - Amersham
Picture courtesy of Malcolm Flack

Flack Honda - c.1975
Around 1980, Peugeot then became the latest brand name to appear  During 1991 a small warehouse next door at the east end of the site which was being used as temporary premises was the subject of a major fire.  Nevertheless, the company “rose from the ashes” and the works continued and were completed at the same time as further extensions to the main site.

Picture courtesy of Malcolm Flack

Flacks of Amersham - c.1980
The parent company had been in the meantime expanding their portfolio to no fewer than twenty six locations and declaring themselves as a Plc.  It was not long after that a take over by the Evans Halshaw Group from Solihull West Midlands placed the location into a list of around seventy five outlets.  A large volume of units were dispatched from the premises over a period of time right through till the latter part of 1998 when the whole site closed down .

It was then during 1999-2000 that yet another brand appeared –“Audi” which is still trading on the site after yet another rebuild..

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