Local Faces: Ray and Debbie Smith

The Smith family has been dedicated to car owners in the Aylesbury Vale area for many a long year now. At one time they lived in Northampton where Ray was born but while he was still a baby they moved to Aylesbury.

He attended Broughton School then went to The Grange School and took his apprenticeship with Ford and Slater, the former British Leyland Garage, in Bicester Road, Aylesbury. Fully qualified, he went to work for his father, M Smith & Son, Stocklake.

In January 1989 they moved to London Road Service Station, Wendover. Ray opened Ray Smith Motor Services in the workshops while Mike ran the Shell petrol station and fore court (until April 1994 when he and his wife Jean retired to the South Coast).

Debbie was born in Germany to an RAF family. In 1975 they were posted to Halton and she spent her final school years at The Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School. Debbie and Ray were married in Halton Free Church. Debbie continued to work at Equitable Life then Rothmans until Jamie and Daniel were born. Now, with one son at Aylesbury Grammar School and the other at Stoke Mandeville Combined, she is kept extremely busy with all the administrative work a flourishing business generates.

The Smith family business motto has always been “for a friendly reliable local service”. Ray Smith’s has always been an MOT Testing Station with a policy of not charging for a retest. They will undertake all, part or none of the repairs required prior to retest there is no obligation on the customer.

Similarly, there is a courtesy collect and deliver service for work undertaken locally, which many customers find a real boon. The 24-hour recovery service is a welcome sight to anyone who has broken down. This isn’t used by their regulars because their cars are serviced and maintained and therefore don’t break down!!! Furthermore, the discount tyre service is extremely competitive so it is always worth telephoning for a price.

Ray Smith Motor Services is best known for just that. Servicing and repairs are carried out on all makes of vehicle. No job is too small or too big! As already mentioned recovery work and hence bodywork are undertaken. Very high priority is given to customer care and satisfaction. They will truly endeavour to reach a satisfactory conclusion to any problem.

As well as Ray and Debbie, you will meet 3 mechanics in the workshop. Ray recently took on two young local lads from John Colet School for Work Experience. They were so successful that they are still with him as part of the Youth Training Scheme. In addition there are two full time cashiers, a bookkeeper and part-time staff.

You may have noticed that Ray and Debbie have improved the shop of the Shell Petrol Station. It now fulfills more needs for the local resident or the passing motorist. The items on sale constantly increase. Most notably, they include newspapers, bread, milk, butter, cheese, chilled drinks, ice cream, flowers and charcoal and the like.