When my Dad’s car didn’t work in the 1980s he tried to fix it himself or took it to the kind of garage that hardly seems to exist these days (there are a few about if you look for them).
The giveaway signs are men in oily overalls, a dog-eared out-of-date diary with a broken biro attached to it by parcel string, torn copies of Auto Trader, a busted chair sprouting mushrooms of foam and a calendar of women in bikinis on a Caribbean beach.
This poem is about that kind of place and how it was honest, fair-priced and decent enough. Times change and these places are not going to compete with the chrome and smoked glass and coffee machines of modern garages. Of course, so many modern appliances are not meant to be fixed or maintained cheaply.
I appreciate times have changed with regard to these calendars too (although there were plenty of calendars of Fabio and Chippendales a few years back), but the real issue here is they are dated, forgotten, tea-stained. I hope it contrasts the luxury of a Jamaican beach photoshoot and the fantasy of all that with a leaking sump on a Ford Escort somewhere in the West Midlands in February!