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170527 | Meet Hugh Hunter one of Cornwall's oldest mechanics still going strong at 83 at his Nancledra garage

Meet Hugh Hunter one of Cornwall's oldest mechanics still going... - An 83-year-old mechanic says he hasn't got plans to down his tools any time soon despite working on his own for the past 20 years. In a small garage nestled on the side of a busy road in Nancledra, Hugh Hunter contemplates hauling the engine out of a 1975 MG. Hunter is primarily known as "Jock" and has been working at the garage for 42 years after buying it in 1973. "You see the difficulties, as you get older you haven't got the strength," Jock said. Read more:...

Meet Hugh Hunter one of Cornwall's oldest mechanics still going...

[news | This Is Cornwall]

 

Meet Hugh Hunter one of Cornwall's oldest mechanics still going strong at 83 at his Nancledra garage

By wbchris | Posted: May 28, 2017

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An 83-year-old mechanic says he hasn't got plans to down his tools any time soon despite working on his own for the past 20 years.

In a small garage nestled on the side of a busy road in Nancledra, Hugh Hunter contemplates hauling the engine out of a 1975 MG.

Hunter is primarily known as "Jock" and has been working at the garage for 42 years after buying it in 1973.

"You see the difficulties, as you get older you haven't got the strength," Jock said.

"You have got the patience, but you haven't got the strength."

Sprawled on the floor by the MG are various tools and cans of heat spray that Jock has been consistently using for three days to eventually pry the engine out.

More tools rest on the side of the MG next to biscuits he left out for dogs passing by with their owners.

 

 

As a familiar face in the local community, cars beep as they pass by the garage to gesture 'hello' and Jock turns from his work to wave as they pass.

Jock has been the only mechanic at the garage for 20 years, but it wasn't always that way.

"There used to be five of us here and we used to have a shop with ice cream, sweets, cigars, all sorts," Jock added.

The garage once included more mechanics and two apprentices and had petrol pumps, used mainly by farmers, and the shop, which was run by Jock's wife Dorothy Ann.

 

image: https://web.archive.org/web/20170528142655im_/http://www.cornwalllive.co...

With farmers passing by daily for petrol and villagers coming to the shop, the garage was once the central hub of the Nancledra community.

Changing times and professional garages moving into Penzance made business hard so eventually, with a heavy heart, the shop and petrol pumps had to go.

"We didn't have the capacity to keep going because we are only a small station," Jock said.

Nevertheless he still opened up from 8am to 5pm on weekdays and 8am to 1pm on Saturday with Sunday off.

Changing times also meant varying levels of technology with new cars.

"Technology is growing and growing and you have to try and keep up but you can't always do that. We open all year round, even in bad weather and the winters are damp and cold. There is a lot you have to put up with."

 

image: https://web.archive.org/web/20170528142655im_/http://www.cornwalllive.co...

This level of work ethic started when Jock joined the Navy at seventeen and he was posted at RNAS Culdrose where he met his wife who he is still married to today, totaling 60 years of marriage.

The Royal Navy took Jock all over America where he worked night shifts often but after seven and a half years he and his wife moved to London where he worked as a civil engineer and his wife worked in a French fashion house.

Jock describes himself as a self-taught mechanic picking up more experience in London after the Navy.

Driving through Nancledra in blazing heat, snow or rain it would be hard to miss Jock and his wave as you drive by.

Many would wonder why he is still working long hours and suffering cold winters, but, when asked how much longer he wanted to work, he smiled and simply answered "another day".


Via at https://web.archive.org/web/20170528142655/http://www.cornwalllive.com/meet-hugh-hunter-one-of-cornwall-s-oldest-mechanics-still-going-strong-at-83-at-his-nancledra-garage/story-30355621-detail/story.html