Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Off the road — car firm that clocked up 70 years

We helped motorists save on spares: owner

70 years after the business opened in Joy Street in the Markets area, Mr Allen reckons it is time to shut up shop.

Over the years Tom Allen reckons he and his father Henry must have saved motorists thousands of pounds through their car accessories business in Belfast.

But now, 70 years after the business opened in Joy Street in the Markets area, Mr Allen reckons it is time to shut up shop.

HC Allen will finally close its doors on Monday, May 16, and Mr Allen said he wanted to pay tribute to staff and customers.

"We've sold clutches, exhausts, radios, and everything you can think of but cars are getting more complicated now," he said.

"There's absolutely no doubt about it, this business has helped car owners save a lot of money in maintenance costs, particularly when you think of the £80 to £100 an hour for a service by the big dealers these days, " he added.

"Even the smaller garages charge between £40 and £60 an hour for the labour, and that's before the cost of parts is added on."

"My wife's not been too well recently and my sister Barbara and I have decided that it is time to pack it in."

HC Allen was founded by Mr Allen's father Henry in 1938.

"Throughout the Troubles we've always managed to stay open," said Tom, who has clocked up 40 years service.

"We once had a fire at the back which caused a bit of damage but we stayed open, thanks to our good and loyal staff.

"So I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported the firm throughout all these years."