William Albert Smart (1881-1937)

William Albert (Will) Smart worked as a wheelwright in Cardiff before moving in 1916 to the small village of Rhiwbina, a suburb in north Cardiff, where he started a business called the Rhiwbina Tea Gardens. The tea gardens soon became a focal point for the village and further attractions were added including a putting green and bird aviaries. By 1920 the motor car had started to become a practical means of transport and the industry opened up many business opportunities which Will took advantage of by opening Rhiwbina Motor Garages on a site immediately adjacent to the tea gardens. Apart from selling petrol and oil Will also developed a business relationship with Morris Motors and began selling and servicing Morris cars. The relationship with Morris Motors, and its successors, lasted for many decades with many models sold over the years.

A second garage was opened in Rhiwbina, situated just a couple of hundred yards away, and this was known as Brook Garage. In the 1950's there was a clear distinction between the two with the original garage selling only Shell petrol whilst Brook garage was affiliated to the Esso brand. This arrangement not only gave a choice to the consumer it also gave protection to the original business by effectively discouraging competitors from moving in. Will's son Cliff worked for his father when he left school in 1925 aged 14, and eventually ran the business that was later called Cliff Smart Ltd from 1939 until the original tea garden site and garage was sold in 1987 for re-development. As a reminder of the site's past history the development was called 'Clos Yr Ardd' which translates as 'Garden Close'.

Source: vintagegarage.co.uk