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Vine and Lee automobile engineers

Judging by the model of Hillman car in the wash bay, these photographs were taken some time just before, or just after, WWII.

I served my apprenticeship here between 1966-1971. It would be interesting to know if anyone has any other photographs of Vine and Lee of 19-22 Station Road Portslade. If you remember the company, or can share any memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Vine & Lee, Station Road Portslade
From the private collection of Ken Barrington
Vine & Lee, Station Road Portslade
From the private collection of Ken Barrington

Comments about this page

  • I worked for Vine and Lee in the 70s as a general dogsbody serving petrol, cleaning cars, etc etc. They were a nice friendly firm to work for. You had to swing the petrol pump lines out across the pavement to the kerb in order to fill the car’s tank, with everyone walking up and down smoking – it would never be allowed now! Still have a key fob somewhere.

    By Dennis Fielder (18/04/2013)
  • Ken, I think I may remember you. I need time to remember. I worked in the office with Mr. Cousins, Jean, Joan O’Connor, Joan Postins, and Susan Gander in 1969. Do you remember any of them? At the moment I can’t remember the names of the boys in the garage. It was a very friendly place to work and we had much fun. Best Wishes, Madeleine Goacher.

    By Mimi Goacher (27/04/2013)
  • Hi Mimi ! I received your email and have just read your comment as to the names of the other lads in the workshop: Jim Foster, workshop manager; John Player, assistant manager; Cecil Peters, workshop foreman; George Greenfield, senior mechanic; Les (toto) Goatcher, apprentice; Chris Howard, apprentice; Phil Way, apprentice; Graham Seabrook, apprentice; Greg Doull, apprentice; Ray Way, mechanic; Ken Dawes, mechanic; Les Hastings, body shop; Stan Cotteral, wash bay and fuel pumps and Eric Lilly, mechanic! There are a few more people I can see their faces in my mind but cannot put names to them – when I can, I will add them to the list, regards Ken B.

    By Ken Barrington (29/04/2013)
  • Hi Ken, I believe these photos might be of my great-grandfather’s garage. My Grandfather’s name was Peter Lee (his daughter was Denise Lee). My Grandmother is Grace Lee and she’s currently trying to write up some family history and I’d be incredibly grateful for any information anyone could give me about Vine & Lee, any photos or memories that might help my gran in her research.

    By Kye Harman (12/05/2013)
  • Hi Kye, may be we should exchange email to discuss V&L. Mine is labrador2@btinternetcom. Regards

    By Ken Barrington (12/05/2013)
  • Hi Ken, The notification for your post has only just appeared in my inbox for some very strange reason as I see you posted several months ago. Since getting more info from my Grandmother about the garage it would appear it belonged to my Grandfather’s uncle and that my great-grandfather owned a chauffeur company that operated from the site. I really would love to find out more for my grandmother and will contact you soon. Kind regards, Kye

    By Kye Harman (26/07/2013)
  • I just found the site and read about Vine and Lee’s. It was owned by  my uncle Ken Lee.

    By nigel underhill (18/04/2014)
  • Hi, I did my apprenticeship at Vine and Lee from 62-68. From those times, I can remember these names: Brian in the stores with Len, Cecil (Peters ?) in the commercial shop along with Melvin Hook, Ray and Phil Way, Les Goatcher, Chris Howard. There was Mike Davies (diver), John Wheeler, Eric ?, Dave Hampshire, Eddie ?, Harry, John Player (service office)- I can’t remember the service manager or overall manager at the moment. Ken Lee sold his Preston Road garage and along came Jim Forster, Keith Avery and Derek Newland – there was another young lad, but can’t remember his name at all. lso there are Alec in the car wash area,  Mr Curzon and Yvonne and Mary in the office but can’t remember the switchboard lady’s name. I started on  Monday 31st December 1961 and was 20 minutes late on my first day, but was the first one there –  28-31st December was snowing hard – the start of the worst winter I have ever known. Great memories

    By Greg Doull (15/02/2017)
  • Where exactly was Vine and Lee located? I must have walked past many times. Was it south from the railway crossing, in Station Road which I think was on the left?  Or was it north up towards Old Shoreham Road, also on the left? I spent many years away in the RAF plus other overseas jobs . I do remember Merritts ,the butcher, the Post Office and a solicitors office that everyone warned me against, on the other side of Boundary Road. 

    By Barry Flahey (17/02/2017)
  • Vine & Lee’s showrooms were exactly where the Tesco store in Station Road now stands.

    By Alan Phillips (18/02/2017)
  • Hi Barry, it was approximately halfway between Vale Road and Franklin Road on the right hand side. It had the garage showroom as a frontage, but you had to walk/drive up a little approach road and enter a biggish yard with the actual garage facilities.

    By Greg Doull (23/02/2017)
  • My father was a truck driver who worked for a wholesale grocery company called Stewart Ltd based in Hove at the now arts centre. They parked the trucks behind these workshops in the 50’and 60’s.
    A lot of the trucks were ex army and when they were started produced excessive smoke to the point they had to sit there until the smoke cleared so they could see their way out .When I went out with my dad the truck only had the drivers seat so I sat on a wooden box!!
    (no health and safety then)

    By Stuart Buckman (15/01/2022)
  • Hi, does anyone know where or who was the Vine in the partnership. I am researching my family tree and apparently one member was connected to Vines so I was wondering if it is this garage.

    By Brigitte (18/07/2022)

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