Joseph Lever, Wheeler
Hay, Straw & Fodder, Tallow & Grease
Oxen and horses for hire
Carts made to order
Lever & King, (and Witt & Lever)
Petrol, oil, repairs
Cars for hire
Cycles made to order
Lever’s Garage (K.M. & D. King)
200 years Service to Transport
Sidney Gould Lever (Lever’s Garage 1926–60) was the son of Sidney Lever (carpenter, wheelwright, blacksmith etc.), he in turn was the son of Aaron Lever (1822–74) who, though described in his Will as ‘Carpenter’ was a member of ‘E. Lever & Co.’ which firm made and repaired wheels, carriages, wagons, vans, trolleys, hurdle carts, wheelbarrows, bridges (including a new bridge near Teffont Mill) hatches, clothes boxes, salt boxes, cider boxes, oven peels, chicken coops etc., generally repaired all manner of farm implements from hand rakes to ploughs, made harrows and the like, erected pigsties, fencing, gates, etc. carried out general builder’s work – painting, decorating, all general repairs, undertaking including the making of coffins …
E. Lever & Co was the business originally carried on by George Lever who by his Will bequeathed it to Aaron and Edwin Lever (hence E. Lever & Co.)
George Lever was the son of Joseph Lever, wheeler of Tisbury. Since George Lever was born in 1788, a fair assumption would be that if his father (Joseph) was 30 years old at that time, i.e. born in 1758, he could have been in business on his own account at 25 years of age i.e. in 1783 – in any event he may have taken over from his father …
One of the trades common to all establishments from c. 1783 to the present day is that of wheeler, or in more modern, terms, wheelwright.
Another common activity is the repairing of carriages, wagons, vans, etc.
The present (1983) Lever’s Garage repairs the modern equivalent of carriages, wagons and vans, now known as cars, wagons/truck and, curiously enough – vans AND has in its employ a ‘wright’ albeit on first impression one with a nautical connection. However who more logical to make the type of farm vehicle known as a BOAT WAGON than a BOATWRIGHT, moreover it cannot be denied that the present Mr. B. is the specialist in the ‘repair of wheels’
It can be claimed that wheels have not only been repaired right through from 1783, but also made – latterly by R.C.B. – cycle wheels, granted of steel rather than wood, but wheels nevertheless. Repair of wheels of course continues; the present day repair of a puncture can be held to be the modern equivalent of ‘taking off and refixing strakes’, the fitting of a new tyre the equivalent of fitting a new band or tyre …
Blacksmith’s work – or its equivalent – is still carried on as evidenced by the sounds of a heavy hammer beating recalcitrant metal into submission, the production of welds with accompanying sparks and blue flashes – both visual and verbal – which sounds and sights can be heard and seen from time to time …
The fitting of ‘brake blocks’ to carriages, wagons and vans is still a necessary part of repair work, though using very different materials and the actual ‘blocks’ are no longer made in the workshop but bought in, the taking off, greasing and oiling of wooden wheels has its counterpart in the servicing of modern vehicles …
The source of this piece is, at present, unknown. We would be glad to hear from anyone who recognises it.
The late Rob Boatwright, who worked at Lever’s Garage from 1943 to 2003, is pictured in two of the photographs on this page. The first was taken in 1961 and the second in 2005.
In the late 20th century a number of aerial photographs were taken of Fovant and some of these clearly showed the development of Lever’s Garage. They are shown here. Click to enlarge:
Lever’s Garage in the 1950s.
Lever’s Garage in the 1960s.
Lever’s Garage in the 1970s.
Content last updated
11 December 2009
© 2002 Design – dingo web design. Text – Fovant History Interest Group
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