Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Aldborough Service Station: East and Donovan Limited

Posting by John Donovan

News article about Aldborough Service Station  and East & Donovan Limited published Thursday 5 November 1964

(East & Donovan – WILLIAM RONALD EAST (Bill East) and his business partner Alfred Ernest Donovan)

Equipment used at Aldborough Service Station

STC UHF Mobile Radios for Vehicle Breakdown and car crash removal.


Claimed in the 1970s to be the worlds smallest Radio-telephone. Imagine from the Pye Museum.


Call signs: Don Able (Guy Nicholls); Don Baker (George Martin); Don Charlie (Roger Sotherton ?)  ; Don Delta Starphone (John Donovan); Don Echo; Don Foxtrot Starphone George Martin)

Some Aldborough Service Station Account Customers

Mrs Webb

West Essex Driving School (Mr Webster)

Skittrall Crane & Plant Hire

Tipple Harris

Albany Car Sales (Freddy King & Bill East. Eric the Perry. Bert Adams. Treacle (Philip) & Freddy the Fly

Mr Rigby? (Riley, Bentley, Jaguar Mk 10 Desert Sands Colour)

A.J. Sibthorpe

Dodd & Son (Builders) 

Kings Autos? (Dickie Clemence)

Neary (Builders)

Archer Brooks (Builders)

Ilford Recorder (Mr Cockran Transport Manager) 

Willis White Insurance

Lockharts Butchers

Jack Gilderson (Funeral Directors)

Dr Pruss

Mr Don Boswell

Empress Cleaners

Saper Glass (The company was first incorporated back to the early 50’s and was purchased by the current ownership in 1987. Back then Saper Glass was a fairly typical general glass and glazing contractor, working out of a modest industrial unit in Ilford, Essex, selling cut sized glass to the trade and undertaking shop front and emergency glazing works.)

Whites The Drapers. Uri Davies (the posh brother of Peter Davies) proudly drove a Vanden Plas Princess R with its Rolls-Royce engine.

Accounts list end

Toolpro (Frank)

Kenny Ball (a regular customer – was always a pleasure to serve)



Mr Stewart Wilkinson

Mr Jary

Family Friend

Joe Collier


Pat Mathews

Albert Smith


John Bryant

Gerald Ronson


John Hudson

Fina People

Eric Wardell

Mr Norton, Regional Manager

Mr Norr – a district manager who became known behind his back as Dr No.

Alan Brocklehurst

Rodney Wingfield – who later became a writer for UK comedian Kenneth Williams and subsequently the author of the Jack Frost books and TV series. Printed below is a posting I made in 2007 on the website: A TRIBUTE TO R.D. WINGFIELD.

Jack Frost

John Parkman

Chris Newman

Harry Selkirk

Maurice Jordan

Eric Goodenough (Engineer) 

Dick Dory

(Jumper) Collins

Ken Bedwell (Sales Promotion Display)

Capt Anderson (Andy tanker driver)

Fred Adams – Stanford Le Hope Deport (later moved to Murco with Geoff Mathews)


Photo of Aldborough Service Station taken early in the 1960s by the then Fina rep Geoff Mathews. A 193 bus was present by prior arrangement displaying an advert for East & Donovan (top left-hand poster). John Donovan can be seen in the white coat standing watching proceedings. GT Riches delivery van outside the office. Note landrover breakdown vehicle.

Geoff Mathews, Cayman Islands

The late Geoff Mathews. RIP. (Who knew Rodney Wingfield)


I had the very great pleasure of knowing Rodney during his days at Petrofina in the 1960’s. At the time he was a clerk based at a small office in Wanstead.

My father, Alfred Donovan, was the proprietor of a Fina petrol station in Seven Kings, Essex. Rodney, who at the time had a stutter, had the great misfortune to deal with our telephone calls, saying for example that we were still waiting for Pump Maintenance to arrive to fix a broken down petrol pump.

Like my father, Rodney loved a joke and to poke fun at the pompous District Manager, known as “Dr No”. Jack Frost was the UK sales promotion manager for Fina. An ex-military man with a white moustache, he was always immaculately dressed and displayed a red carnation in his coat buttonhole. A hugely enthusiastic gentleman of the old school, he was nothing like his namesake, Inspector Jack Frost.

In 1967 I drove Rodney and Jack Frost to Burwood Park in Surrey one evening to launch a Fina national sales promotion which my father and I had devised. The vino flowed freely and Jack was completely blotto by the time it came to drive home. Rodney and I had to almost carry him into his residence.

Many years later my father and I visited Rodney at his home in Basildon and he very kindly drafted the text for a sales leaflet for a promotional tie in to the popular TV programme, Dallas.

We cannot claim to be close friends of Rodney. In fact, we had no contact with him for over two decades, but we do have fond memories of one of the nicest people we have ever come across.

It was a shock to read that he is no longer with us: my deepest commiserations to his son.

Posted by John Donovan. Email address: [email protected]

London Advertising Centre. GK Mathews & Associates Geoffrey Kevin Mathews (born Oct 1934); Stuart Ayton, David Ian Waite; Dick Gay; Ken Brown; Pamela; Lunches at Cotgroves.

Steve Gibson Design, Westcliff on Sea.

Lambs Garage (Triumph Main Agent)

Mr Hogg


Norman Dow

John Barr


Ben Smith

John Parkman (Formerly with Fina)

Lars Lenck


John Hudson


John Withers

Sir John Jennings (below), Chairman Shell Transport & Trading Co; Group MD Royal Dutch Shell Group (who did uphold Shell’s business principles)

John Smeddle

Ken Danson

Paul King

Michael Beach

Chris Fay, Chairman and CEO Shell UK Limited

David Watson

Tim Hannigan


John Turner

Ronald Coleman


Jimmy Gargan


Saul Perlmutter?


Henry Lipman

Bill Blows

Mr Cook (Pearl)


Redhead-Piggott, 45 Butts Green Road, Hornchurch.

Don Redhead (Donald John Redhead)

Dudley Frederick Piggott

Darren Woods. (Darren Woods Associates)


Ken Bond, Basildon Tyres

Mr Delaney, Drivers Test Examiner

Ilford Town & Country Planning Dept

Walter Patterson, Chief Planning Officer

Chris Serle

Terry Andrews

Terry Sands

Councillor John Telford (John Telford Clinic Ilford is named after him)

Ralph Bagley (Greater London Council Planning)


Bob Brydon (we’ll make it)


Tony Longhurst

Alec Mc?

Desmond Caine

Jack Donovan

Geoffrey Hook (Accounts)

Bernie Sarson (freeline football van)


Alfred Donovan

John Donovan

Bob Donovan

Steve Donovan

Don Redhead

Roger Sotherton

Ken Brown

Val Hewitt

Graham Slack

Malcolm Stone

Dennis Lambert

John Morley

Swen Olsen

Peter Simmons (Nat West Bank Manager, Romford.

Mickys Bar. Hugh.

Don Marketing Heybridge, Bentall Centre 


Steven Donovan

Nick Mann. Landlord.

Don Marketing Stowmarket: 

Sharon Peacock


Steven Donovan

Don Marketing Bury St Edmunds

St Andrews Castle

Marie Neil

Don Marketing USA

Lars Lenck

Dunfey Hotel

San Mateo (Don Marketing USA HQ)

Dittler Bros (Security Printers) 

Bob Goldstein

Lisa Robinson

Dobson & Crowther (Printers)

Bob Attenborough (Founder and Chairman)

Woodpecker Press (Game piece printers)

David Patrick Kingston Christian

Paul Joseph Lowe

Butterfly Press (Game piece printers)

Mike Macro

Hugh Derrick

Webcraft (USA Security Printers)

Jack Katz

Aldborough Service Station

Aldborough S/S letter heading from around 1957 when Alf Donovan was in partnership with Ted Copeland.

The photo below is of Alfred Donovan standing in front of the lube bay at Aldborough Service Station

Best guess is that the person standing next to the kios is Lynne Donovan and the unseen driver the 3,000 Fina Road Tanker was Capt Anderson (Andy) Date stamp on the photo is March 1964.

Jessie Donovan

John Donovan

Roger Sotherton

Bill East

Bobby East

Charlie East

Doug Allen

John Pickett

Frank Denton

Jack Chapman

George Martin

Tom Collins (Mechanic) below, the only visible face


Bert Adams (joined from Albany Car Sales. affectionately known as Silly Bert)

Robin Yates

Alan Goodman

Steve Watkinson (Ozzie Steve)

Norman (Ozzie Steves workmate and friend)

Peter Davies (PJ Davies)

Jim Sanderson

Joan Gale

John Smith

Steven Smith (trainee mechanic)

Bob Musgrove

Big Bill

Bill Nichols

Frank Manning

Mr Marcus

Jimmy Gargan (GT Riches)

Terry Sands

Stan Lingard (Pump Maintenance)

Alf, Marsham Tyres

Boro Window Cleaners

Advance Towels

The Sombrero Restaurant Ilford High Road. Michael Varellus.

Ted Lockner – photo below. With John & Beryl Donovan (both hardly visible) and others at the Fairlane Inn near Gallows Corner on the A127, 1971 or thereabouts. Ted looks like he was enjoying the evening.

Hetty East



Keith Woodcock

Charles E Parsley (Charlie Parsley) married to Maud K Bassett

Aldborough S/S MOT certificate signed by Peter Davies for the last car owned by Nanny Donovan – a Standard Vanguard with a memorable registration number MAD 287

Cresent Service Station: Premises at 888 High Road purchased from Chevron. Sold front of the site to Gerald Ronson, Heron. 









Graham (partly disabled)

Guy Nicholls

Roger Sotherton

Frank Manning

Terry Kiggins

Lester Holmes

Micky Kelly

Pat Gonzales

Ted Lockner


Edwin (Poster Artist)

Nightingale (Rembrandt)













Roger Sotherton

Freddy Donovan


Above letter heading for Fairdeal Autos. The first business started by Alf Donovan in the 1950’s. Partner was his friend Charlie E. Parsley, who later worked briefly at Aldborough S/S

THOMSON & TAYLOR  – bought two ALFA Romeo Berlinas from them. One sold later to Don Redhead.

BMW 30.Si also purchased from Thompson & Taylor.

Alfred & Beryl Donovan shown left and Roger Sotherton on the right.

BMW 3.Osi

Princess 32 “JAD” Sea going vessel build for John Donovan.

Guy Nicholls Triumph 2000 parked in view. Joan Gale walking. Aldborough Service Station 1970 

Below: Twin automatic car wash site located at the London end of the Ilford high road premises.

JAD Peugeot 605 at Maplebank, 4 Parkside. Neighbours Liz & Ron Palfrey, The Cousins and Dr Gove.

John Donovan around 1952 – bottom right

John Donovan with Buster – Around 1960

John Donovan and Max (1990 to 2001)

Favourite Eateries

C&W Cafeteria Roanoke

Bury Lodge Nr Stansted (Now owned by Teresa Higgins)

Churchgate Hotel Harlow

Churchgate Hotel – Harlow – July 2015 – Derelict Places

Sadly the Hotel Closed in September 2014 due to mismanagement and spiralling debts. … This place came to our attention whilst chatting to an old school friend.
Dick Turpin Restaurant Aldborough Hatch
Melody Inn Gants Hill
Dinner Gong Gants Hill
Sombrero Restaurant Ilford (Michael Verellus?)
Harvester Gidea Park (Kym)
The Archers Gidea Park (Related to Archer Brook)
Chinese Restaurant Maldon (Tim)

Zaby’s Motor Lodge Anaheim CA 1990’s



697-601 High Road, Seven Kings dilapidated premises over 50 years later



John Donovan and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

0 Comments on “Aldborough Service Station: East and Donovan Limited”

Leave a Comment

Comment Rules

  • Please show respect to the opinions of others no matter how seemingly far-fetched.
  • Abusive, foul language, and/or divisive comments may be deleted without notice.
  • Each blog member is allowed limited comments, as displayed above the comment box.
  • Comments must be limited to the number of words displayed above the comment box.
  • Please limit one comment after any comment posted per post.

%d bloggers like this: