Len Allison

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Len Allison was a man of whom it could truly be said brought old fashioned values to the motor trade, and so successful was his business acumen that the family garage was hugely respected by the car manufacturers he represented over a long and noteworthy career.

Mr Allison died recently in the Galloway Community Hospital aged 75.

Although he had suffered ill health for some years he rarely missed a day in his beloved garage where, along with his loving wife Christine, they built up a great reputation for service and satisfaction regularly topping the sales and service performance targets for Vauxhall and earlier Opal and in so doing winning trips to foreign parts.

In the 1990s and early 2000s when the major manufacturers were concentrating their sales efforts in the major cities and towns there was always the danger that they would walk away from small dealerships.

That was never the case with Allison Motors who occupied a special place in the Vauxhall plan. They knew how important such satellite garages were to their good name and they certainly appreciated Len and Chrisine’s enthusiasm and hard work which helped secure the good name of their brand.

Car owners in Wigtownshire and often much further afield kept coming back for their new cars such was their professionalism.

They knew that they would be assured of an honest deal, one that they would be satisfied with. Born in Stranraer Len started his working life as an apprentice with his uncle George Cruickshank in the lock-ups at the rear of Rowallan in Bladnoch, and it was here that he learned his undoubted skills as a car mechanic.

After George died in a fatal car accident in 1958 Len was left to carry on the business and shortly afterwards he was taken under the wing of Cameron Kennedy who ran an electrical engineering and motor traders business in the Port.

Little was young Len aware that destiny was to lead to Cameron becoming his father in law. It was here that Len teamed up with Cameron’s daughter Christine and a wonderful partnership ensued, leading to the birth of Allison Motors.

It was a seven days a week “hobby” but so successful did they become that they were rewarded with business and pleasure trips to Hamburg, New York, Dubai, Morocco and Zimbabwe.

Quite an achievement for a young lad with such a modest background.

A man who always enjoyed a good crack and joke with his hundreds of satisfied customers, he never pressured to conclude a sale believing if he did not get a sale this time he might get one next time.

A man of great loyalty he enjoyed a long and no doubt profitable relationship with Esso selling their products almost all his business life. He understood the great value in a happy staff and was rewarded with years of good service by many.

One of the sales he made through great endeavour was to the Stornoway Gazette and West Coast Advertiser, even delivering a new Vauxhall to the Isle of Lewis. That is what the Allison’s business philosophy was all about and it served them well.

Len was predeceased by Christine in 2004 and he is survived by three daughters, Julia, Sylvia and Gloria and many, many grandchildren.

His funeral service was in Mochrum Parish Church and was attended by a large number of mourners.