R. J. W.Wilkinson was a curious kind of scrapyard. It was a proper old school vehicle dismantler and repair shop, but located in an urban setting. A place where tired old cars went to be broken down into their component parts, which would be patiently labelled and cataloged, then stored away to give life to other old cars in need. Engine re-bores and rebuilds were also offered, along with numerous other engineering services. But what makes the place really special is its period of operation. It’s hard to say for sure when it started but, as about a third of the parts stock seems to have belong to the pre-war period, it must have been pretty early on. Right through until the seventies, parts were meticulously stashed away with the business ceasing full time operation the following decade. Since then not much has changed but finally, having apparently reached his 90’s, the old man passed on, and so an era came to end, which brings me to the purpose of this post.
A while ago, I was told about the impending clearance of this place. For just one week, the yard would be having a sale, after which the remaining parts would be disposed of. That means scrap! That week is now! I had never been to this place before and was utterly astonished at what I saw. The words “gold mine” simply don’t cover what we have here. I don’t think I have ever seen such a hoard of obscure and pre-war parts before. Some amazing cars have passed though this yard over the years, as evidenced by the rudimentary card file system tucked away in a drawer in the workshop, listing cars such as a ‘34 Citroen, a ‘28 Buick, a ‘51 Cadillac and even such oddities as Chrysler Airflow and a Trojan.
The vintage 1940’s boring machine and surface grinder still reside in the workshop, alongside ancient welding plant and hundreds of hand tools. Paperwork and magazines dating back to the 1940’s are there too, along with parts catalogues and service manuals.
It’s very sad that it’s all got to go, but that’s the way of the world. If you have an interest in pre-war cars, or cars of the 50’s and ’60’s, and you’re withing striking distance of Lincoln, then you should get yourself there for a look. You have until the end of Friday, after which this stuff will be gone for good. The place you’re looking for is at 7 water Lane, North Hykeham, Lincoln, LN6 9QT. Bring cash!