If you are a past or present resident of Taunton, then you may well have heard the company name ‘Hickleys’. What you may not be aware of, is the nearly 100 year long and very diverse history of this family run company.

Originally, in 1925, Mr H. N. Hickley started a battery service in Billet Street. At about the same time Mr L. W. G. Meikle started a similar service in a lock-up garage behind the Crown and Sceptre Inn on Station Road. In 1932 the two business owners saw the opportunity to corner the battery market by merging the companies. The Hickleys name has stayed with the company until the present day and the company is chaired by a third-generation member of the Meikle family.

Somerset County Gazette: The large capacity Auto Service CentreThe large capacity Auto Service Centre

Since those early days the company has constantly evolved. In the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s Hickley Valtone was born and thrived. This was a ‘refinish’ business and focused on vehicle body repairs. At the turn of the millennium the company began to become well known for its Auto Electrical specialty. Many other garages in the area referred customers with electrical issues on their vehicles to Hickleys. This in turn has led to a lot of investment in training and expertise in vehicle diagnostics, something which is essential in modern, computer-controlled vehicles.

              With many garages referring customers to them, the Meikles saw the opportunity to further capitalise on this knowledge and from this the ‘Garage Equipment’ and ‘Diagnostics’ divisions were born, for the purpose of supplying garages and service centres up and down the country with equipment, training, service, and support. Also, in 2006 Hickleys Healthcare opened it’s first retail store, supplying healthcare products to care homes and mobility equipment to the public. But that is a story for another day!

Somerset County Gazette: Hickley's Auto ServiceHickley's Auto Service

              Despite these many changes over the years, Hickleys has always remained focused on providing vehicle services to our loyal customers in Taunton and Bridgwater. Our Taunton Auto Service Centre is the largest in Taunton and is staffed by a large team of friendly, expert auto technicians. The Auto Centres at both Bridgwater and Taunton provide a full range of vehicle services from MOT’s, Tyres, Exhausts and mechanical repairs to specialist services such as Air-con leak detection, vehicle diagnostics and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems calibration. Hickleys Bridgwater also specialises in all areas of diesel servicing and many garages send diesel pumps and injectors to them for servicing.

              In addition to these, Hickleys also provides a range of services for buses, coaches and camper vans. The service technicians centre are experts in heating and cooling systems on large vehicles. Commercial vehicles are also catered for with services such as tracking systems for fleets, Taxi Compliance testing, Class 5 & 7 MOT testing, additional van security and reversing camera fitting.

Somerset County Gazette: Robin Huish (Current MD), David Henderson (Financial Director) & Duncan Meikle (Company Chairman) pictured with Hickleys original delivery vehicleRobin Huish (Current MD), David Henderson (Financial Director) & Duncan Meikle (Company Chairman) pictured with Hickleys original delivery vehicle

              Whatever your vehicle serving requirements are, Hickleys can almost certainly help and will always provide a personal service to much greater level than the ‘fast fit’ centres. If you are just after an MOT or service, the convenient location of Hickleys means a five-minute walk in one direction will take you to the town centre and a few minutes in the other direction will take you to French Wier park and the stunning Long Run Meadow. A comfortable waiting area and free hot drinks are waiting for you if you would rather sit and wait for your car!

              Hickleys Auto Centre Taunton is located on Castle Street in Taunton and on East Quay in Bridgwater. They are happy to take bookings via phone, email or website enquires at hickleysautocentre.com.