History of Norman Motors | Bournemouth | Poole | Dorset

of Norman Motors

Norman Motors holds the proud distinction of being the oldest family-run motor trade business in Dorset. During the years, we have built a reputation for our open and honest approach to car dealing and reliable vehicle servicing, which has built us a loyal customer base.

The Norman family name is synonymous with the motor trade, and has been for many generations. Norman Motors (Wallisdown) was established in 1953 by Donald James Norman (the Grandfather of the current MD, David Norman). The business originally consisted of a single property, which was a residential dwelling, with the ground floor converted to a small showroom area to sell cars, and a kerbside forecourt area for petrol sales.

Oldest family-run motor trade business in Dorset

After more than sixty years of trading, the current Norman Motors business is still located at this original Wallisdown Road site, however the premises of today are unrecognisable, as significant developments have been made over the years.

In 2015, David Norman began an exciting new phase of redevelopment/expansion. Another property belonging to the family has been demolished, giving space to significantly enhance the outdoor car display area. The main building (including car showroom/service reception/office area) is undergoing total refurbishment, and the entire exterior area subject to new landscaping. We hope to complete these works by the end of 2016, and will then proceed with further developments at our Bournemouth Road site in Poole.

However, the Norman family has been involved in the motor trade for further generations in the Dorset area. During the war David Norman's Great Grandfather was involved in car trading from premises in Westbourne; and his Grandfather ran a small garage from coaching house premises in Branksome Dene Road.

These premises are still in existence, but now form a residential mews. A vintage petrol pump from the wartime era can still be seen as a feature in the driveway.

Established in 1953

In 1953 Donald James Norman moved with his family to the premises in Wallisdown Road. He converted the ground floor into a small indoor showroom for approx. 6 cars, and the front of the dwelling had a small off-road forecourt area for petrol sales.

The property was also the main family residence, and Donald and his son Barrie (who was still at school) would hear the forecourt bell ring, and go out to fill up cars with Cleveland petrol, while customers collected Green Shield Stamps.

When Barrie left school he joined his father in the business full time. Over a period, they acquired five adjacent properties in Wallisdown Road, enabling them to significantly expand the business and add a service department. Barrie also purchased a filling station from Esso in Ferndown, which became a car showroom, fuel sales and workshops. Whilst still owned by the Norman family, the Ferndown garage is now leased to a tenant (and does not trade under the Norman Motors brand).

In 2003, a second Norman Motors site was opened in Bournemouth Road, to launch a Poole dealership and extend the number of vehicles on display at any one time.

Donald Norman died in 1986 and Barrie Norman took over management of the operation.

The current Managing Director, David Norman, joined his father working part-time on an apprenticeship when he was just 15, learning the ropes and being introduced to every aspect of the business. Having left college in 1992, David joined his father full time.

Since then, Barrie and David have worked in partnership together to expand and advance the company until Barrie recently retired, taking a back seat in the running of the business. You will sometimes still find Barrie at his desk in the showroom welcoming customers and generally watching the busy activities.

As the third generation, David Norman is now at the helm and has led the transformation of Norman Motors with their recent expansion and refurbishment. An extended forecourt provides customers with an even greater choice of quality used cars, whilst the refitted showroom offers a contemporary and welcoming space.

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