Meet the Team & Company History
Greta Motor Body Works was established in 1959 as an accident repair shop and has been a member of the Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association (VBRA/RMIF) throughout. Greta has developed the with the times to cater for modern repair technologies and standards as well as maintaining the traditional skills. This allows us to undertaken current accident repairs on all makes of car and van as well as apply the traditional skills to partial or full classic vehicle restorations.
Greta also provides a range of complimentary services for modern/classic cars, commercial vehicles and motorhomes; tyres, tracking, laser wheel alignment, batteries, air conditioning repair and re charge.
Although our core skill is bodywork, we have the skills in house to offer a full service to keep your classic vehicle in top condition and fit for the road; including service, mechanical and electrical repair, fault finding, upgrade, etc.
As an established company we have a network of trusted specialist partners that can be used including on site modern garage and MOT facilities.
Managing Director and son of founder Stephen Hogarth, David started in 1976 and has a wealth of skill, experience, knowledge and contacts.
Sarah is a company director responsible for administration, she is David H’s daughter, third generation along with her brother Jack in the workshop.
Andrew has been with Greta since 2000 and is responsible for the workshop. He is a Ford enthusiast and has restored various classic that have featured in several car magazines.
Restoration Engineer / Project Management
Dave is a hands-on classic car enthusiast and responsible for developing “Greta Classic Vehicle Restorations” within the business.
Greta is a family run business and enjoys the benefits of the experience and knowledge that an established workforce brings. Several of the staff have been with Greta for 35 plus years, they are supported by the next generation who in turn are training and mentoring the next through a continuous apprentice programme to continue the skills and progression of the company.
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 senior retired in 1993 and remained as a non-executive director until he passed away in 2013.
Mr Roy Beaty and Mr Ken Dover retired from the business in recent years leaving Mr David Hogarth as Managing Director. In 2016 Mis Sarah Morris (Hogarth) was appointed as company director, to carry on the company’s development.