St. Christopher Industries Ltd. (S.C.I.)

Operated from 1950s to 1960s

Founder/Director – Unknown

Leaving one’s car unattended in an airport car park while away on holiday has always been something of a minor bone of contention for most travellers. However, during the 1950s S.C.I. of Westcliff-on-sea offered a more secure service. Having previously submitted a reservation form, drivers were then permitted to drive to the airport on the day of their flight and leave their keys at a booth in the main terminal building, after which the customer’s car would then be collected from the terminal car park and driven to a small, black hangar positioned next to the railway line about half way up SEN’s eastern perimeter. Being as these cars would invariably stand idle for a week or two, this company also offered a full range of services such as cleaning (from 12s 6d), servicing (from 15s) and engine tuning (from £2 10s) plus bodywork and repair services, all of which could be carried out while the owner was away. As something of an interesting footnote, S.C.I.’s associate company Holmes & Smith Ltd. (a Rootes Group main dealer) would also become one of the main parties responsible for the numerous cars that were exported overseas via the Channel Air Bridge services.


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