ABOUT US - The Short Version
Colin W. Feltham had a knack for mechanics. He joined the REME in 1958 and bought his first Land Rover.
Throughout the 60's, 70's and 80's he worked various mechanical jobs until he realised a need for a Land Rover specialist in our area and started working for himself.
In the 1990's the business evolved in to a Partnership with his son Andrew, who had inherited the knack for mechanics. By 2004 the business had further expanded and C.W. Feltham Ltd was born.
ABOUT US - The Longer Version!
As a teenager Colin, the man behind the name, helped out at one of the local farms. In one of the outfields there sat a tired looking CAT 22. Colin asked the farmer what was wrong with it, the answer... it was broken down(!) and uneconomical to repair. Colin took this as a challenge to get it up and running. He quickly realised that the problem was that the magneto had failed, a replacement would be costly however Colin overcame the hurdle by sourcing an alternative from an old disused tractor. It wasn't long before Colin drove in to the farm yard, much to the farmer's surprise, on the up and running CAT. (There is a much longer and quite fascinating version of that story but Colin tells it much better than I can!)
In 1958 Colin was called up for National Service. After basic training at Honiton he joined his preferred profession, the REME, and undertook his trade training at Norton Manor Camp. Later, whilst stationed at 10 Command Marchington, Staffordshire he saw a 1949 Land Rover for sale. He couldn't attend the auction so a friend went for him but was unfortunately outbid. Colin has never been one to give up so after a little detective work he found out who the new owner was. It turned out that the new owner (well, the Mother of the new owner) didn't think the vehicle was suitable, it wasn't for them. Colin offered the asking price and was now the proud owner of his first Land Rover. It became a faithful workhorse for the next 15 or so years.
Jump forward to the 1960's and Butlins Holiday Camp in Minehead was starting to be built. In the summer of 1969 Colin got a job there and was in charge of the Mechanics department. They had their work cut out ensuring that all the dumpers, mixers and pumps etc that were being worked hard on a daily basis were kept in operable order. Breakdowns of machinery meant delays, which cost money, which made people higher up the chain bark louder (management and work place ethics very different to todays expectations!)
Colin (centre in the white overalls) with the crew at Butlins Minehead
After a few years at Butlins and a handful of various other jobs, Colin returned to the REME workshops at Norton Manor Camp where he worked as a civilian mechanic. In his spare time he worked on his own Land Rover's as well as helping out other Land Rover owning friends and family repair theirs. He realised the need for a local mechanic specialising in Land Rovers as a lot of the local garages were not fond of working on them! In the mid 80's Colin left his job at Norton Manor Camp and started to work on other peoples vehicles from the small garage attached to the Feltham residence. On one occasion Colin (who as you now know, likes a challenge) told one farmer that if he was unable to cure the diesel engines timing (others had already tried and failed) he wouldn't ever charge him again. Of course the farmer was happy to accept the offer, and yet again Colin came out triumphant and that farmer became a regular PAYING customer for many years!
News of Colin's expertise and knowledge of Land Rover's soon spread throughout the area (via good old fashioned word of mouth, none of this Internet and Social Media malarkey back then) and resulted in a healthy business that was outgrowing its space. Colin built a barn-like workshop and moved the business in to the new space and also employed some extra help. Joined by his son Andrew and becoming a Partnership in the mid 90's, plans were made to further expand the business. Andrew, like his father, has the knack for Land Rovers. In the early 90's when he was 16/17 years old, he spent his school holidays building a Land Rover. He took three vehicles, broke them down and rebuilt one 'new' Land Rover, the infamous (well, in this neck of the woods anyway) 'YDW'. More than 20 years later that vehicle is still the workhorse for the business.
The New Millennium saw the Partnership become a Limited Company and the need for more space brought about the build of a new larger workshop. Colin and Andrew worked together growing the business, employing more mechanics to assist with the increasing workload. As the vehicles become more high-tech, so has the equipment we have to hand. Our team of mechanics are encouraged to expand their knowledge and we actively support their learning and training. By 2010, with the increasing number of modern Land Rovers coming in and the decrease in Series and beaten-up Defenders, Colin decided to take a back seat in the business. Some would call it retirement but you can't give up on a passion... he has just finished rebuilding Defender 90 on a galvanised chassis. He has now moved back in to his little garage on the end of the bungalow where he is rebuilding a Series II on a galvanised chassis, just for fun!
And so here we are, present day.
Our team consists of Andrew Feltham and Ivor, these are the two you are most likely going to speak to (and who will make you tea or coffee when you come to see us... if you ask nicely!). Then you have Rick who has been with us on and off for more than 10 years, and James who has been with C.W. Feltham Ltd since 2013, and our newest mechanics to join the team are Dave and Andy.