Norman's Fruit stores

<I> The fruit store in the early 70's</I>
The fruit store in the early 70's

Norman Wood about the Fruit stores and the vans:
My father owned a shop called Norman's Fruit Stores from 1946 to 1978 and for his deliveries he had a variety of vans from a 1949 Ford 5cwt, a 1950 Ford Escort, a 1964 Ford Thames 420e and finally an Austin Morris J4 10/12cwt. Of these the one I remember most was the J4.
The original van was on the road until about 5 years ago when it was scrapped. After my father died I took over the registration and name of the shop and I thought it would be a nice idea to acquire a J4 van and reproduce the one my father ran. After a lot of searching around I finally found a 1961 version in decent condition in Devon. Once a lot of photographs had been sent over I agreed to buy it and had it shipped over to Jersey, Channel Islands in 1997.
The van was acquired by the classic car dealer in Devon in 1995, he stripped it down to the chassis and rebuilt the engine and running gear, and after putting all the panels back together it was sprayed green. Once the van arrived in Jersey I had it registered with the same number that was previously on my fathers van (I had managed to acquire this after the Citroen BX it was on had been scrapped).
I then had the J4 fully serviced and started rubbing down the panels for its respray to Signal Red, this was finally done during the middle of 2000. Just before Christmas I had the signwriting done. The exterior of the J4 is now virtually finished. I have now got to repaint the interior and have the seats recovered.
Once all this is done the J4 will be used for various jobs that my other vehicles cannot do, it will also be shown at various rallies in the Island.
My J4 is the only van of its type still on the road in the Channel Islands, and it certainly gets some looks when it is being driven around.
My name is Norman Wood (the same as my father) I am 35 years old and am a Civil Servant serving with the States of Jersey Police Force. I am married with one daughter and another 'sprog' on the way. My other vehicles are a 1984 Land-Rover Series III 109" MoD Pick Up, a 1992 Vauxhall Frontera 2.4i Estate, a 1984 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Saloon and a 1986 Honda VF1000F Motorcycle.
Norman Wood


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