In 1919 William Herring, with his wife and son John and his daughter Margaret, moved to Burnham on Sea from Street, where they had a china shop. They lived first of all on the Berrow Road in a house called Good Hope. The house was eventually pulled down and replaced by a group of flats (Brue Flats). The family then moved to number seven the Esplanade (The Fernery). He would not live in a house unless it had two flights of stairs, one at the back and one at the front!
The garage, which was situated at the rear of the house, only had the one entrance, opposite John Street. The sea front end of the garage had a narrow workshop where Mr William Herring, who was a tin smith, repaired Saucepans, kettles etc., and made copper hot water bottles. He also mended bicycles and was a locksmith. One day he was called to open the large safe at Lloyds Bank!
There was also another showroom down the side of the garage next to the road. William Herring and later, John Herring were agents for BSA and this was where the cycles were kept.
In 1947 – 1948 the present building( where Proper Job now is ) was built by W.J. Pople and Son, a local builder, whose yard was situated where Hurley’s store and car park is today, at the end of Jubilee Street and backing on to South Terrace.
The slanting roof at the big entrance end was built in that way to enable Number One Adam Street to have light at the back of their property. The petrol pumps and underground fuel tanks were also put at that end.
At the sea front end of the building was a work bench where the metalwork continued. There was also a door put in which led through into the garden of Number Seven. At the same time a toilet and washroom, which was used by staff and customers, was built in.
Another entrance was put in for cars but not big enough for coaches. This had a steep slope down from Adam Street to the floor of the garage. There was an office and waiting room on the road side of the garage. On the opposite side of the building was a sunken repair pit which was covered with old railway sleepers. The pit was large enough to allow coaches over for repairs.
On the adjoining outer wall there was a shoulder high built in flower bed in which was planted daffodils and which was once shown in the local newspaper! When the daffodils were over ferns were planted in lieu. There should have been a door put into this wall but it was never done because it would have come out into the front garden of One, Esplanade Cottages!
Advert from the Burnham on Sea Guide 1959
The main drain runs under the floor of the garage. When we had the storms of 1981 the floor of the building was flooded to a height level with the bottom step of the coaches. This was flooded two weeks on the trot! The water came down the top end slope, flooding all of the garage including the pit, and eventually leaving by the lower larger door back into the street. At the same time water seeped through into the garden and flooded the basement of 7 Esplanade.