Memories of Crawley – Tooting Tyre Service

My name is Graham Hackney.

We moved from Wimbledon to Crawley in 1958 (I was a baby) when we opened a new branch of the family business which was Tooting Tyre Service at 7 Horsham Road, West Green. We lived above the depot.

My Uncle, George Mullen (Mum’s Brother) owned the company. My Father Fred Hackney was a Director and ran the Crawley branch along with my Mother in the office. My wider family of Uncles, Aunts and Cousins were also Directors and worked for the company and at its peak we had 13 Branches across the South East from Forest Gate in East London to Brighton. I grew up playing in the spew rubber from re-cutting the treads on tyres and when I left school worked in the company until I was 28.

Two men in suits, one leaning on the bonnet of a car

These photographs show my Father, Fred Hackney outside the depot with one of his Sisters and Brother in-law when they visited from Lincoln, his birthplace. The top photograph shows the Dairy on the opposite corner of Victoria Road.

man in suit and woman in polka dot dress standing next to a car. Shop frotnage reading 'Tooting Tyre Service Ltd' is visible in the background.

Here is another showing myself in my Uncle’s arms, my Brother Derick on my Mum’s Lap and my Father far right in the yard of Tooting Tyre Service. My parents were known as Lovie & Fred. She later worked for years in M&S in Crawley.

3 adults and 2 children against the outside wall of a building

If you’d like to share your memories of Crawley then please contact us!

Leave a comment

Liz ford

4 years ago

My nan and grandad used to own fords greengrocers up the road from you can remember your place when I was young

Graham Hackney

3 years ago

Hi Liz, Yes I remember Fords Green Grocers up on the left towards the crossing. Used to get my mums ‘Mothers Pride’ bread there and Tizer and Corona. used to take the bottles back for the deposit off the next bottles.

Sue Wickstead

4 years ago

Thank you for sharing

Les Stokes

3 years ago

Hi Graham wondered what happened to you hope you are well Les stokes Wallington branch

Graham Hackney

3 years ago

Hi Les, Great to hear from you. I hope Cathy and the girls are all well and happy. Great memories of working with you at Wallington.

Brenda Stewart

3 years ago

Hi Graham Brian Stewart here , remember me branch manager at head office and also crawley branch yes they were the good old days as they say. Good to know that Les and yourself are still around as Ken Keiler also is .take care and good health.

Graham Hackney

3 years ago

Hi Brian, Yes they were good old days. So much has changed over the years but good memories all the same. I’m the last of my family living now, Mum passed at 93 in 2017. Take care, regards to Brenda.

Stephen Browne

3 years ago

Hello Graham,
I was trying to find out a bit more about Tooting Tyre Service, and came across this website. What happened to the company? and when did it dissolve?
I worked for the company in the Brighton branch for about 2 years in the late 60’s. Sort of doing a reminiscing thing, as it was such a long time ago. I did meet the boss ( your Dad?) once when he gave me a raise in pay and also advised me that ” its not what you know but who you know ” !!
Hoping to get a reply, regards

Graham Hackney

3 years ago

Hi Stephen, I used to go with my Dad to Brighton Depot up Elm Grove on a corner. Yes George Mullen (My Uncle) Sold the company around 1990 to a then Datsun/Mecedes dealership. It continued running for a short while but then was sold off as individual premises. That is exactly what my Dad would have said..”It’s not what you know, but who you know” I can hear his voice in his Lincolnshire accent saying it! When he retired in 1988 he moved down to Albourne village with Mum and their ashes are with my Brothers in Albourne Church Cemetary. Where have all the years gone?

David Snowdon

2 years ago

I went to school (Thomas Bennett ) with Derek Hackney who I remember him saying his dad ran Tooting Tyres. Saw him after and he was going out with Debbie Berry I think!

Peter doughty

5 months ago

Hi there I’m Peter doughty from forest gate London est and I had a Saturday morning job in your family shop change the tyres with Vick Mullins who’s had a son named guy

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