Cumbria’s Premier Car Body Shop
Meet the Team & Company History
Company Director and the son of founder Stephen Hogarth, David started in 1976 and has been with the company for over 38 years. He is a keen cyclist in his spare time and has entered many competitions including the Fred Whitton.
Sarah is a Company Director and has been with Greta Motors for over 10 years. She has always been interested in cars and as David H’s daughter it was no surprise that she came to work in the family business.
David W is our longest serving staff member having joined us in 1975. He works in the paintshop and drives a MK4 Ford Escort XR3i.
Andrew has been with the company since 2000. He is a Ford enthusiast and has several restorations to his own cars under his belt and has featured in several car magazines.
Jack came to Greta straight out of school and has been here since 2007. He’s David H’s son and is currently restoring a MK3 Ford Capri.
Chris has been with the company since 1976 and can paint just about anything! He loves Minis and drives a 1989 Mini.
Neil started over 30 years ago in 1983 and is our wheel alignment expert. He also runs his own business as a chimney sweep.
David C has been with us since 1977. He is another of our more than capable painters. He drives a golf ball 300yds!
Ian is our tyre fitter. He’s been with us since 2012 but has over 20 years’ experience in the tyre trade. He drives a 1982 MK2 Ford Fiesta XR2.
Our other Sarah has worked as our administrative assistant for over 5 years. She is a singer in her spare time and has organised several charity music events.
Three people attended a site meeting on December 26th 1959 at a burnt out pencil mill at Greta Side, Keswick to assess the practicality of rebuilding the property with a view to creating a Motor Body Repair business.
The property was bought by Leslie Eynon of Keswick Motor Company who were closing down their body shop and selling out to Shell UK. The property when developed was to be rented to Mr R B Norris and Mr S T Hogarth who would be the sole Directors of Greta Motor Body Works Limited. A sum of £1,800 was paid to Keswick Motor Company for all the equipment previously used at their body shop together with the agreed goodwill.
After the initial tidying up of the site Messers Roland Hill of Aspatria were contracted to erect a single storey workshop.
In November 1960 Mr Hogarth and Mr Norris together with two former employees of Keswick Motor Company started work at Greta Side as Greta Motor Body Works Limited with Mr Norris as Managing Director and Mr Hogarth as secretary. A working bank overdraft of £2,000 was agreed with the District Bank of Keswick.
In June 1961 Mr Brian Hewer, a school leaver, agreed to be the firms first apprentice and after taking his holidays began work in July 1961.
In 1968 the next door property was acquired and demolished which increased the workshop area by about 80%.
During the years more apprentices together with imported skilled workers were taken on at regular intervals.
From the very early days the company has supported and has been supported by the V.B.R.A. (Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association) with monthly meetings held in Newcastle and subsequently Kendal.
In 1979, after long negotiations and together with two other local businesses, a disused timber yard was purchased and the site was developed with new access and all main services as "Southey Hill Trading Estate". Greta Motor Body Works Limited built a new purpose built workshop, office and stores area of some 10,000 square feet. The property at Greta Side was sold to finance the new workshop and work started at the new site in October 1980.
At this time the Directors agreed to appoint four new Directors in recognition of their valued service to the company Mr Roy Beaty, Mr Ken Dover and Mr David Hogarth were duly elected.
Mr Norris retired from the company in 1982 and sadly died in 1991. Mr Hogarth Snr retired in 1993 and is still a non executive Director of the company.