Car smashes into shop window 76 years after identical crash

When a car smashed into a shop window in Bedford last week, it seemed nothing more than an unfortunate and embarrassing one-off accident.

That is until the son of the man that owned the electrical store back in the 1930s spotted the incident and brought in a photo of the shop in 1935 – also with a car 'parked' through the front window.
While the 2011 crash saw a Volkswagen Passat end up embedded in the shop front-end first, the 1935 incident saw a car reversed into the window display. To add to the coincidence, both crashes happened at night.

"The son of the man who owned the shop in the 1930s brought an old black and white photo of the crash in to show us when he heard about the recent accident," said the shop's current owner Peter Dimmick.

"We were really surprised, we had no idea an almost identical crash had happened before," he continued.

The shop remains an electrical store after all these years, now under the name Tavistock Sound and Vision, while it was called Gollings and Ayres back in the thirties.

The latest crash happened about 1.15am on a Sunday, with the car remaining in place until later that day. Despite it destroying most of the store's stock in the window, the shop managed to open for business the next day, complete with a poster advertising it as "'Britain's first drive-thru electrical store' with 'smashing bargains'".

"All the staff came in and helped clear up but it will be three or four weeks before the damage is repaired," said Mr Dimmick.

"When we were cleaning up, someone quipped we must be Britain's first drive-thru electrical store so we put up the poster. We can hear people laughing outside."
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