Book tells tale of house next to burnt-out garage

Blaze: The Yarrow Bridge Garage on the A6 Bolton Road
Blaze: The Yarrow Bridge Garage on the A6 Bolton Road

The daughter of a woman who wrote a book about life in the house next to a fire-ravaged garage has lifted the lid on her memoirs.

Fifty years ago, Thelma Wescott wrote an account of her life at ‘Springwood’ on the A6 Bolton Road, which was the scene of a devastating fire two weeks ago.

The Yarrow Bridge Garage was left completely gutted when a fire ripped through and reduced the business to rubble in just moments. The house next door narrowly escaped damage.

Living there for 56 years, the Westcott family only sold the house a couple of months ago, and said life alongside the A6 was always exciting.

Thelma’s account, written half a century ago, said: “It is never dull. Of course, living next to the garage has its drawbacks. Sometimes we are aroused in the small cold hours by desperate motorists who cannot believe that we do not own the garage and have no spare petrol tucked away.

“Then there was the young mother stranded on the way to Scotland with a broken down car and a young baby.

“While the men fiddled on the forecourt she rang the doorbell and asked me to boil a kettle so that she could make up a bottle for the baby.

“Somewhat surprised by her request I agreed but was rather disconcerted when she asked for a clean jug in which to mix it and some sugar with which to sweeten it.

“I supplied her needs and then explained that we were in no way connected with the garage which was attending to the more mechanical side of the family comfort. The poor soul was covered with confusion.

“In a similar vein was the request of the travel-weary and thirsty American woman, one unusually hot summer’s afternoon, for something ‘long, cool and refreshing.’

“In the days before motorways and service stations they thought we were a roadhouse!”