Rover’s Return

Another exciting, intriguing and varied week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil – with a transport-related theme!

One of the highlights this week was a visit from an enqurier researching Percy Winsor Ltd of Vicarage Street, Yeovil and specifically the Rover P4 motor car, purchased by Percy Winsor.

This was particularly exciting as the researcher now owns this car and visited in the said Rover to our Centre. This was exciting for many reasons; firstly as we work everyday and enjoy working with historical objects and people ‘from the past’, we were delighted to ‘meet’ a living link to a person and a company that was well-known and widely regarded in Yeovil; secondly, this was especially superb for me as a link to ‘my other job’ writing on tractor-related subjects to discover another link and more information on someone I thought I knew. The central point was a reminder to staff that Museums and acquiring knowledge is a ‘two-way-street’ and we should never stop learning or appreciating ‘hidden gems’ of information, or what could happen to turn up next.

Percy Winsor Ltd were a leading supplier of Ferguson (and later Massey Ferguson) tractors, combine harvesters and balers, based at the site formerly occupied by MotherCare in the Quedam Shopping Centre. They were taken over by South Western Farmers and employees moved to Crewkerne, Somerset, in 1966. It is understood, Percy retired at this stage and he died in 1972 and is buried in Yeovil cemetary.

Interestingly, our enqurier had a love of ‘old’ Rover cars as a first boyfriend owned one! When looking for a new project, this Rover came up for sale and they were unaware of the Yeovil Connection until a search of previous owners through the DVLA led to the first owner, Percy Winsor. Interestingly, this was an ‘old’ model when purchased in 1964 as a newer Rover was available at the time, possibly reflecting that Percy was something of a traditionalist!

After a seven-year search, our enquirer was able to tell us the following:

I now own and have restored his Rover P4 110 car that Percy bought from Males Garage in Yeovil in 1964. It has taken me 7 years to trace him as the original owner and am delighted to find such provenance. I believe that some of the 75 employees that worked there may still be alive and used to meet to remember the old days.

He visited Canada in 1950 via a Cunard White Star Cruise liner perhaps to visit relatives but he also seems to have met up with Ferguson bosses and Massey bosses, they joined together and Percy came back with a massive contract! His wife Winifred Ivy Winsor appears in a Massachusetts directory with a few details that are close but not totally the same. Also, they were getting on a bit when they bought this car but managed to clock up 48,000 miles in the 7 years preceding their deaths.

DSCN1891  IMG_1662

In a transport-related week, Karen Field, the current owner of a Rover P4 110 car bought by Percy Winsor from Males Garage in Yeovil in 1964 and our Centre Display at the 2015 Wessex Truck Show!

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