Williams have only had to close only twice over our 109 years in business.
When my grandfather Harry Williams started his fledgling Automobile sales company one hundred and nine years ago it was only three years before World War One forced him to close it. He was drafted into the army as a driver being one of the few people who could drive at the time. It took him two years after the war finished to restart the business.
For the next nineteen years he worked hard and ethically to build Williams Automobiles up to be one of the biggest car sales companies in Bristol but it was in 1939 that he faced his biggest challenge of all, World War Two.
Harry had to sell his stock of cars as petrol was no longer freely available. His premises were requisitioned by the ministry of food to store bacon, his team joined the forces and his sons, my father and uncle, volunteered to fight, my uncle going to Malta and father to fly in the Fleet Air Arm.
He had to close the business. He sold all his stock and equipment and after being bombed out of two houses in Bristol, he moved to an old bungalow on the sand dunes at Brean near Weston Super Mare.
In 1947 he got his premises back and my father and uncle joined him in restarting again. At this time there was no car stock available so he started selling ex army lorries.
Over the last 73 years Williams have traded consistently, weathering global recessions, the bankruptcy or closing of many of our major suppliers, Austin, Morris, Saab, TVR and the banking crisis to name but a few.
So how are we handling Covid 19. Our first thoughts were obviously for the well being of our team, customers and their respective families. We are also thinking about everybody else especially the vulnerable and are ensuring that in no way we are responsible for any spread of this virus. Listening to government guidelines on Tuesday 24th March we decided too close for a short period of time until the government tell us we can open again.
During this time Henry Williams is available to deal with questions you may have regarding the business or any business you have moving forward.
Unlike 1939 we have probably our best ever stock of new and used Morgans, Caterhams and Lotus available for sale and with the use of the internet have them displayed worldwide. We also have some of the very last new traditional Plus Four Morgans available. With the collapse of Sterling these vehicles are attracting a lot of overseas interest and will sell out soon.
If you see a vehicle you are interested in please email or call us on the links below. We will get back to you quickly. We can answer all your questions and send you high quality digital photos or videos at your request.
We are not open for service but will be offering service and upgrade offers shortly for when we are open again.
Due to all our suppliers Morgan, Caterham and Lotus closing we are unable to supply parts and upgrades but again will have list of parts offers shortly available for shipping as soon as we are able.
We will be posting the business changes on our website we are making in this fast moving situation so keep checking back for any updates.
Please direct all enquiries to the email address at the end of this email.
I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank you for your custom and friendship and assure you that the instant we can get back to being fully operational we will, and with this spell of fine weather there is nothing more I would like to do than take a Morgan for a spin around our wonderful countryside.
Keep well, stay safe and stay in.
Ps: My grandfather would have been proud of the company he created but spare a thought for him. His company has closed, one Son is in Malta, the country that suffered the highest bombing in Europe, his other son was learning to fly planes from aircraft carriers, he had been bombed out of two houses in Bristol and had moved to a wooden bungalow with no electricity near a remote beach. To rub salt into his wounds the home guard laid out the false lights of Bristol on the beach beside his house attracting bombs from the German pilots thinking it was Bristol. So ever resilient what did grandpa do....... He built a bomb shelter.
If you would like to hear our full interesting history let me know. I would be glad to tell it.