My Acton: Ellie And Dave Hopkins, Rosebank Motors
Our regular feature on the people of Acton
Ellie and David Hopkins run Rosebank Motors on Shakespeare Road. They've serviced neighbourhood cars here for 14 years. Now though, with the potential sale and possible demolition of 91 Shakespeare Road, their future in Acton is in question.
West Acton. A quiet residential street. We have lived in the same house for just over 33 years.
How long have you lived in Acton?
David has lived here for 45 years and i have lived here for 34 years. We were both born in West London.
Why did you open Rosebank Motors?
It was when David was made redundant from the BBC that we decided to open our own business. Initially we decided that if it didn't work out after a year, we would give up but 19 years later we are still going strong although sadly not for much longer. Our future is undecided at the moment but there are some plans in the pipeline. We have been trading on the site in Shakespeare Road for 14 years and previous to that, in Rosebank Way Acton.
It is more than just running a business. We feel part of the local community after so many years. We take in parcels and letters for the local residents and quite often, the odd fridge, cooker and washing machine will be delivered here. We once had a complete bathroom suite delivered for a neighbour. Local children can often be seen wheeling their bikes in for repair, mums with broken buggies , lawnmowers to have their blades sharpened and even one local shopkeeper bought in his ironing board to be welded !!..The list could go on. These are not things we charge to do. It 's all part of being a good neighbour. Luckily we have never had to advertise the business. All our work comes from word of mouth with many customers traveling from afar.
What's the best thing about living here?
Ease of transport links to motorways, airports and the centre of London but on a personal note, the neighbourly friendliness, the children who stop outside the garage on the way to school to wave and shout hello. Only last week, one little lad who had heard we would be going soon came up to David and said " Your not going to leave us are you ? I don't want you to go." Now that pulled at the heartstrings.
Acton has always had it's ups and downs. Nothing is worse now than it was 30 years ago apart from the decline of the retail industry in the high street and surrounding streets but i blame that partly on greedy landlords and sky high business rates. It discourages new businesses from moving in. So many have tried but failed. Many others of course have survived. Parking restrictions are the bane of many shopkeepers nowadays.
Acton has good travel links but needs to draw in people from other areas and that means drawing in better known shops and business. Accessible parking and a clean up/revamp of the whole area. People driving through the high street get a pretty dire view of Acton as a whole which is a shame.
A quiet meal at The North China Restaurant. We are not regular pub-goers. I'm quite happy curled up with a good book but David belongs to a few 'groups/societies' so will attend meetings maybe twice a week.
Lunch is normally a takeaway sandwich/baguette from Franks cafe on Churchfield Road. Weekday evenings are normally spent at home. Weekends we tend to drive out of London for meals particularly Sundays when lunch is at a riverside pub normally with the family. Working in Acton all week, it's good to escape, if only for a few hours.
For those new to the area it has to be The North China Restaurant.
Do you know someone in Acton who has made an impact on our community? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
January 31, 2011