Hampstead garage man Graham Clarke who fixed cars and prams retires
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
A Hampstead icon who has been known to fix prams as well as cars will be shutting up shop on his garage after 40 years.
Graham Clarke, 71, is set to retire, closing the doors on Daleham Motors in Daleham Mews at the end of June.
He started the business at the age of 30, but has become known in the local community for doing much more than just fixing cars.
Graham said: ‘Mainly we are a depository for letters and packages; I’ve had keys for all their houses.
‘They’re all neighbours, I just help them out.’
He has also been known to look after a child or try to fix a pram, going above and beyond the call of duty to aid his customers.
‘When people come in, we always try to help people out. I’m one of the old school.’
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After four decades in Daleham Mews, Graham has built up a loyal customer base within Hampstead.
He said: ‘I get a lot of regular customers; lots have been with me for 40 years. Most are devastated that I’m retiring. They are pretty upset. Most people in the mews are friends rather than just customers. I’ll miss them.’’
A champion of Hampstead’s community spirit, Graham holds a coffee club at his garage every lunchtime for his friends.
‘We’ve got quite a good coffee club. About five or six of us are in for coffee at lunchtime, including my landlord!’ he said
After retiring, father-of-two Graham plans to spend the summer taking part in walking tours of London and making time for family and grandchildren.
But he will visit Hampstead. “Hopefully I’ll get someone else to make the coffee!” he quipped.