Royal Enfield. There were also private lock-up garages to let, given that few people would have had a garage at their own house. Also, cycles could be hired - no doubt something that summer visitors would have taken advantage of.
The name 'Claremont Garage' came from one of the semi-detached villas neighbouring the garage, which John Hay resided in (marked '1' on the map below). Hay rented both the house and the garage from proprietor William Clayton. William's father, Robert Clayton, a wool spinning business owner, had retired to Lundin Mill in 1880 and had purchased 'Hallwells'. The large plot of land that Hallwells sat on was developed over time, eventually incorporating the garage, the two semi-detached villas and other cottages and outbuildings. The 1964 map below shows the buildings in question and their nearest neighbours.
In 1915 John Hay died at the age of 36 and the garage was advertised for let. By that time, the First World War had begun. The garage lay empty and in 1917 owner William Clayton, a marine engineer, was killed. He was one of fourteen to lose their lives on a cargo ship named 'Barnton' when it was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in the Bay of Biscay on 24 April 1917. The cargo steamer had been carrying iron ore from Bilbao to the Tyne. The inscription 'Mar. Ch. Eng. W Clayton' appears on the Largo War Memorial.
2. Aviemore (house)
3. Claremont Garage (later Clayton's Garage, then Corner Garage)
5. Ernest Cottage
6. Keilside Bakery
Not long after the war ended, the garage was restarted by William Clayton's son, Thomas. The advert below announcing it open appeared in the 25 March 1920 Leven Advertiser. Another advert below dates to July of the same year. Thomas Clayton was aged only twenty at this time. The garage still hired out cycles and also re-tyred prams and had a Daimler Landaulette for hire.
Also around this time, Thomas Clayton and his brothers developed a love of film and entertainment and soon went on to run the La Scala cinema and entertainment on the Pier at Lower Largo. The valuation rolls indicate the changing use and ownership of the garage building thereafter. While it was still described as a workshop run by Bill Clayton in 1925, by 1930 the Claytons had sold the garage and it was let by the new owner to Daniel Ramage (who also operated a bus service and ran the Upper Largo garage for a spell). It had acquired a petrol pump by 1930. Ramage moved on in 1934 and the garage was unlet in 1935. In 1936 the building became the Lundin Links Laundry, run by William Mann. However, the Second World War cut this enterprise short, with William Mann joining the RAF for a spell and not resuming the laundry business post war.
Around the end of World War Two, the building returned to use as a garage, when Jimmy Horne took it over - more on that in the next post.