Jenkins & Pain were established in 1770, this is our story.

Motorcars were the symbol of the new century, and in Dover, there were already a number of coach-building businesses. The Palmer family had been in the coach building business from 1770 and already had premises in Priory Street. In 1896, on the site of the old Kingsford Windmill Brewery, at the bottom of Union Road (now Coombe Valley Road), George Sacre Palmer opened a coach-building factory and employed some 140 staff.

The Palmer’s also owned Connaught Coachworks in Cherry Tree Avenue (where Aldi Supermarket now stands). In 1908, the firm received an order to build the car bodies for fifty cars with Peugeot chassis and engines, which was the start of many other such orders. The bodies for Rolls-Royce cars were later built at the Cherry Tree Avenue works and also coach bodies for East Kent Road Car. Due to the introduction of the assembly line in motorcar building, the Union Road works were sold in 1930, for £500.

Two former apprentices at Palmers, Horace Jenkins and Hubert Pain, set up their own business as motor body repairers, in 1934 and took over the Palmer’s premises on Union Road with its distinctive arched entrance. In 1978, the firm moved further up Coombe Valley Road staying until 2001, when they moved to purpose built premises at White Cliffs Business Park, Whitfield.

The firm, at the time of writing, employs 45 staff and specialises in repairing local authority, business, police vehicles and for all major insurers. In 1983, the remains of the old Kingsford brewery were demolished and eventually the site was sold and cleared for Kingsford Court.

A history of Dover Town, by Lorraine Sencicle published by Riverdale Books for the Friends of Dover Museum, 2007