© Lloyd Blackburn  2002-2020

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Robert & Leslie Orth - Orth's Garage

(R.L. Orth & Sons Limited Motor Engineers)


The business of R.L. Orth & Sons Limited was not incorporated into a Limited liability company until 16th December 1965. However, its origins go way back to 1914 when at the age of 15 Reginald Leslie Orth started an apprenticeship at the workshop of Joseph Payne coachbuilder of 2 Spital Road Maldon. The workshop can only be described as an old barn with a lean to at the rear of the Ware Pond.  The main entrance and the Payne family home being adjacent to Wentworth House on the corner of Spital Road - London Road and opposite Dominic Finn’s dental surgery. After his apprenticeship was completed and on the retirement of Joseph Payne the business was taken over by Reg who continued there for a number of years.

On Thursday 30th April 1925 Reg married a Lilian Cooper a Heybridge girl at St Andrew’s Church Heybridge, who he met at a dance in the Corporation hall High Street, Maldon the previous year.

The following year on Tuesday 2nd March 1926 their first son Leslie was born. Their second son Robert was born on Thursday 19th February 1931. In May 1927 Reg purchased some land in New Street Maldon adjacent to the Maldon cattle and livestock market, a smallholding and allotments, what is known today as the Whitehorse car park where the remains of the business are located. The Whitehorse car park being built in 1964. When the workshop and “Silsoe” (Fairfield Chase) the family home was completed Reg diversified into general engineering of and the repair of Petrol vehicles. As can be seen from family photographs both boys were helping out around the garage as soon as they could walk. Reg had a love of anything operated by steam and built an outside model railway in their garden for the boys and their friends this continued until the late 1949.

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