Coles Garage, otherwise known as Wellesbourne Garage, was managed by 3 generations of Coles for nearly a century since its establishment in 1923. The garage has remained largely unchanged over the decades, only closing on the retirement of the last of the line, Chris Cole.
This photographic essay documents the final days and weeks of activity there. With trading virtually finished, Chris and his wife Joy worked on their old family cars dating back to the 1950s before finally closing the doors on the soon to be re-developed site.
Too often such events fade quickly from the collective memory, yet form a small but significant part of our memory map as we look back on our childhood, our time living in a certain place, or recollect friends, neighbours and acquaintances.
I was lucky to be granted access to the garage in those closing weeks and this exhibition presents some of what I observed.
Andrew has been a photographer since the age of 8 when he acquired his father’s Kodak pocket folding camera. Studying in Belfast during what was known as the Troubles, he photographed life in the city for the student newspaper and occasionally local and national newspapers, with his work published and exhibited in both Ireland and Britain. His work focusses on that which calls for careful observation of that which often passes people by, producing images which rises above the mundane and hold the observer.
His next exhibition, documenting a 10,000 mile motorbike journey across America, is part of the Photo London Exposition at Somerset House, 9 -12 September 2021. https://photolondon.org