Famous Art Deco Lostwithiel filling station to get facelift
Written by The Cormorant Hotel
The Lostwithiel landmark has stood in the same place for eight decades without changing - other than the odd coat of paint here and there. But it could soon get a major overhaul and become a fantastic new café for visitors to boutique hotels Fowey to visit.
Downend Garage has barely changed since it was built in 1930 and has been run by the same family until 18 months ago. It had been looked after by John Hawke, who took over the business from his father at the end of the Second World War.
But 18 months ago John retired and the building has been bought by local dentist Naurooz Ismail, who has grand plans for it.
Dr Ismail has applied to Cornwall Council to give the building a full facelift, and planners are currently considering whether to grant permission for a large section of the building to be demolished and replaced with a steel-framed structure.
Although that seems drastic the art deco façade will retained and become a feature of the building, which will house a new MOT test centre and a cafe.
The plan has been hatched following Dr Ismail's retirement from dentistry. "My son is a mechanic," he explained, "and although I still do locum work I wanted another project.
"I want to bring the building back to its former glory and ensure it's used to its potential."
The news has been welcomed locally, since the building has been empty and unused since Mr Hawke's retirement.
He was a much loved figure in the area and served many thousands of people, including the actor Clark Gable and one couple who honeymooned in Fowey in 1951. The couple were astonished to find their car was filled up by the same man when they revisited the area in 2001 to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.