Nearly a year ago we bought the old ATS garage building in the heart of the market town of Thirsk. What a year it’s been for us all and what a transformation here at Twisted’s new home, The Old Cinema.
Never ones to do things half-heartedly, we began researching the history of the building before we even acquired it. As we peeled back the layers of time and dust, we uncovered more secrets about the building’s past. From its early days as the Gaiety Theatre and the suspicious fire involving gramophone records to being renovated (the first time!) and transformed into Bell’s garage. It was then bought and turned into ATS in the late 70’s until 2020 when we purchased it with a plan.
It’s given us time to research and restore this space properly and we like to think that in doing so we’ve honoured its past. From finding handwriting on the wall in the back room, to the occasional graffiti by ATS engineers and restoring the theatre screen. Curated with antiques and curiosities as well as some very special vehicles. We’ve taken our words ‘Remake History’ to the next level with this project!
Never did we think it would be nearly a year until we could open our doors to you, and now we are just days away! We are so excited to finally show you what we’ve been working on and be able to welcome our customers to our new home at The Old Cinema.
It’s a space we hope to use for events, for meeting our customers and friends, and keeping some of the last Defender to roll off the production line at the Land Rover factory at Solihull as well as some more ‘unusual’ vehicles and boats - but you’ll have to pay us a visit to see what’s really here!
So, from Monday 12th April, our doors are open and we hope to welcome you for a coffee and a slice of cake, to view our collection and chat with our team about your Twisted journey.
Charles Fawcett, founder of Twisted said
“It’s a really impressive building that’s alive with history,” he said. “Upstairs in the office, up in the rafters, you could even see the old cinema screen right at the back of the main space. But that’s not all – in a little room, accessed through a tiny door, there are ideas for adverts that the owner scribbled all over the wall in 1925.
“It’s obviously where his desk used to be. There were certainly some interesting events held there over the years.”
“In the spring and summer of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a standstill,” said Mr Fawcett. “We had a rare opportunity to reflect on where we were as a business and where we were heading. It became obvious that we had deviated slightly from our original intention to make the Defender the very best it can be.
“We had grown so much over the past 18 months or so. However, I realised that bigger is not always better and we needed to go back to our roots and our original philosophy, building fewer vehicles so that the customer journey can be given the same attention as the vehicles themselves.
“Central to this will be our new showroom, which we hope will be somewhere where people can call in, grab a coffee, share stories and see our vehicles up close – as well as maybe a boat or even a rally car.”
The showroom will be home to about 25 vehicles, including a number of the 61 remaining from the batch of 240 last off the line Defenders that we purchased back in January 2016.
It goes without saying that for us safety is imperative and strict Covid procedures are in place within the building and whilst out on test drives. No one wants to be back in lockdown or to see any more lives lost. We must all do our bit to ensure this. We ask that when visiting you wear a mask, observe social distancing rules, check in with the NHS track and trace app and regularly wash or sanitise your hands.
We hope to see you soon, and look forward to showing you The Old Cinema, with a Twisted history.
If you can’t get to us, our most recent video Twisted 21 will give you a great idea of what’s in store. Watch it here.