Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

A Rich Local History

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

A Rich Local History

Article excerpt

WHEN Frank Crockford Snr had a motor garage erected at No. 128 in the main street of Kyogle in 1932, he couldn't have known that almost 80 years later it would still serve the same purpose.

Back then, Frank, who was joined in the business by his son, Frank Jnr, was the local dealer for Willys and Singer cars and trucks, and later, in 1934, became dealers for the General Motors range which included classics of the day such as Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, and Bedford trucks (back then you would have paid eight pounds for a full service on a Chevy four cylinder). It was also in 1934 that they were appointed NRMA agents.

When Frank Snr died in 1946, Frank Jnr took over the business and remained there until 1965, when he sold the building to Allan Lloyd McDowell, who renamed it McDowell Motors Pty Ltd and ran the business for two decades.

Meanwhile, just up the road at number 142, Brian Hoffman and his partner Kellas Oaten were busy running Oaten & Hoffman, the thriving service workshop they had established.

It was 1987 when Brian and Kellas purchased McDowell Motors (the building and the Holden dealership) which they renamed O&H Holden, and for the next 14 years, Brian and Kellas, ran both locations - Oaten & Hoffman at No.142, and O&H Holden at No.128 - until Brian bought Kellas out in 2001, so the latter could retire.

The following year, Brian relocated the service workshop to No. 128, combining both sides of the business in the one location.

Over the years, technology may have changed the cars and the way they are serviced, but there are some things that remain the same: a commitment to giving customers good old-fashioned, honest, reliable service.

From small beginnings, Oaten & Hoffman Pty Ltd (service), merged with O & H Holden (sales) now employs a staff of 15, and has become one of the region's most popular dealerships, with customers from around the Northern Rivers. It also remains Kyogle's NRMA insurance and road assist office. …

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