King of the cars

BACK THEN Clemo's new Moorside showroom in 1963.
BACK THEN Clemo's new Moorside showroom in 1963.

Clemo’s car showrooms have long been a staple of Cleckheaton’s commercial landscape, and one man has been there through (almost) all of it!

The company has been celebrating 50 years since opening its showroom at Moorside, and invited round Gary Hall, who had worked at the site for nearly half a century.

Gary Hall returns to Clemo.

Gary Hall returns to Clemo.

Gary began as an apprentice when the showroom first opened on Friday September 27 1963, and he can still remember his first day on the job at the age of 16.

He said: “I started working there before the showroom actually opened – I was working there for about a month all on my own, just cleaning and tidying!”

After starting his apprenticeship in the workshop, Gary went on to see all sides of the business – working as an engineer, in sales, and eventually managing the showroom until his retirement in 2010.

“I don’t know where the time went,” he said. “I think the biggest difference between now and then is how the technology has moved on. When I first started, you were lucky if your car got you to Blackpool – cars seem to last a lot longer these days!”

Clemo’s current manager, Richard Smith, said: “We were thrilled to have Gary along.

“Clemo, and cars in general, have changed so much over the years, but the principles of what we do stay the same to this day.”

And the most expensive car upon the showroom’s opening? A luxury MG Magnette saloon at £475!