|Iconic Putney Business Closing this Week|
The London Mini Centre has been on Lower Richmond Road for sixty years
Antonio Braggiotti at work
An iconic Putney business is closing this week. After sixty years The London Mini Centre on Lower Richmond Road closes this week.
The lease has run out and the new landlords are not renewing. There was a time when there were several mini centres in London based loosely on the old Rover (BMC-British Leyland) network. Minis were once the most popular small car and Rover flourished. Then came the collapse of British Leyland and BMW talking over the Mini.
The Putney Mini Centre is the last one in London, so very much end of an era..
Antonio Braggiotti, part owner, has been working at the Centre for 25 years. He says, “The two big changes while I have been here have been the introduction of parking restrictions and the launch by BMWof the new Mini. There was a time when we had dozens of minis parked up Roskill Road. We got a few tickets but then things settled down.
"Put it like this we came to an arrangement. As for the new Mini they are much more complicated and have electronic systems but nothing is hard if you know what you are doing.”
Braggioti whose grandfather came from Italy is grateful for the business. He did his apprenticeship in the 1960s when the Mini was launched and it has been a source of work and a successful business ever since.
Today while 85% of the business is the new hardly mini Mini, Braggioti still looks fondly on the old model, “it made people happy and from a a mechanics point of view it was far smaller and many less things could go wrong. Bu all things come to an end. The business is still strong but the landlords have new ideas. My partner is carrying on but I am going to let my tools go cold for a while”
August 26, 2022