By Matthew Legg
Last updated at 15:37, Friday, 23 July 2010
Two friends who have talked about setting up a business together for years have finally taken the plunge after fate stepped in.
Dave Mason and Mark Wilson opened Cecil Street Auto Repairs, in Carlisle, last week.
The childhood pals say they have discussed going into business for years, but were waiting for the right opportunity.
The chance presented itself when Dave returned from the Isle of Man, Mark was forced to take a 20 per cent pay cut at work and a garage premises they’d had their eye on for years became available.
So they emptied their savings accounts, ploughed £10,000 in and created their first joint business in the old Auto Windscreens premises on Cecil Street.
The company offers mechanical and auto-electric repairs on every make and model of car.
“We have known each for about 20 years; since we kids,” said Dave, of Lowry Hill. “We have always discussed going into business together but with me being away it just never happened.
“I was in the Isle of Man for 10 years and ended up running my own garage there.
“But I’ve got three children now and my wife always wanted to move back to Carlisle so we were looking for the opportunity to come back.
“I’ve always thought what a fantastic site the old Auto Windscreens place was for a garage. I even told the lads there years ago to tell me when it became available.
“When I heard the site was free it seemed like fate; everything just came together.”
The pair say they are keen to dispel the old ‘back street grease monkey’ image of auto repairs firms.
“I think the industry has had that label in the past,” said Dave. “But I’ve had factory training on Citroen, Peugeot, Toyota, Vauxhall and Ford models and I worked as a master technician for Vauxhall; our expertise is as good as anyone working for the main dealers.
“Hopefully the recession will be good for the smaller guys like us; people are looking to save when money is tight and our rates are as good as anyone out there.”
Dave has worked for a string of Carlisle car dealers including CG Ford, County Motors, Telford Citroen and Fellside Toyota.
Mark, of Morton, has just left a job with a national plant hire firm.
Dave said: “Mark and I are like family and that’s how we see the business; a family affair.
“We are looking to take on a receptionist and that will probably be a family members.
“We hope to get a satellite site somewhere in Carlisle eventually but this will always be the heart of the business.”
The business can be contacted on 01228 599688