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Explore the history of Frank G.Gates Limited – with more than 100 years of heritage in the Motor Industry

20’s Having initially started his business in 1918, Frank G.Gates was appointed as one of the first Ford Authorised Dealers at 140-142 High Road, South Woodford.
gates staff
1925 Frank G.Gates Ltd soon expanded and the business moved to new, larger and purpose built premises at what became known as “Gates Corner” on the High Road in South Woodford.
30’s In the 1930’s, Frank’s brother Harold Gates joined the business, to be followed in later years by Frank’s son Edward and Harold’s son Bryan.
edward gates
bryan gates
40’s As Britain found itself at War once again, Gates Corner was requisitioned, converted into a meat store and the rear workshops used as an Auxiliary Fire Service Station. All garage activities were now transferred to premises which by that time had been acquired in Chigwell Road. The company operated through here until peace came once more to Europe some six years later. Slowly, despite rationing and shortages, business started to return to normal. Many Gates’ staff who had served with The Forces, returned to their normal jobs and life in the grey 40’s gave way to the promise of the 1950’s.
50’s The first major growth of Gates began with the acquisition of Gates of Walthamstow in 1957. The following year saw the opening of a purpose-built Parts and Service Centre at 128 High Road, South Woodford.
1959 Ford Anglia
1959 The company was launched onto the London Stock exchange and becoming Frank G. Gates PLC, built new premises in the rapidly developing Harlow New Town.


gates of baldock
1960 Gates acquire Bennett’s Motor Works Ltd, an existing Ford Main dealer with premises in Letchworth Garden City, and an agricultural business in nearby Baldock. Gates of Letchworth and Gates of Baldock Tractors subsequently began trading.
gates epping
1962 1962 was an important year in Gates’ history as it was at this time that the company first moved into Epping with the opening of the Half Moon Garage on the High Street.
1968 Celebrity Jack Warner, best known for Dixon of Dock Green fame, was in town as he officially launched the newly developed Gates of Harlow.
Gates of hitchin
1969 New locations at Gates of Bishop’s Stortford and Gates of Hitchin were opened.
70’s Gates celebrate their Golden Jubilee.
80’s In 1980, Gates took over premises in Waltham Abbey and after substantial refurbishment, the company’s Commercial Vehicle Operations were based here (Gates Trucks – Waltham Abbey).


1992 Gates of Stortford Opening Event
1993 Gates of Bishop’s Stortford re-located to larger premises on Stansted Road.
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
1995 Although a Plc, the shareholding remained substantially owned by the Gates family, but due to the natural expansion of the family, there had become a desire to return to private ownership. At the end of 1995, the company was privatised and a number of premises were sold to facilitate the process.
Gates of Epping
1996 Gates locations were now located at Harlow, Epping and Bishop’s Stortford, with plans to expand following the reorganisation.
Gates Ford dealership
1997 Now completely privately owned, Frank G. Gates Ltd acquired the Ford Main Dealership in Hertford. This dealership was then re-developed with all new premises during 2001.
00’s A new millennium begins with a new dealership acquisition as Frank G Gates Ltd open Gates of Waltham Cross.
Gates of Waltham Cross
Gates Ford dealership
2003 Following the acquisition of the Ford Dealership at Stevenage in 2002, which also involved the re-purchase of their Letchworth dealership, development began on a new, state of the art, purpose-built FordStore™ and Transit Centre on Arlington Business Park, Stevenage.


Gates Ford dealership
2015 Following a further acquisition of Ford Dealership at St.Albans at the end of 2015 these premises were subject of refurbishment and upgraded to the FordStore™ and Transit Centre standards.
Gates Ford dealership
2016 Major redevelopment work to build a multi-million-pound FordStore™ and Transit Centre at Gates of Harlow. The project involved demolition of the existing dealership with a complete rebuild – the dealership meanwhile continued trading from temporary facilities.
Gates Ford dealership
2018 Gates announce the acquisition of dealerships in Enfield, Potters Bar, Walthamstow and significantly in Woodford Green. This was to mark a return to the area where it all began almost 100 years ago.
Gates Ford dealership happy customers
2019 Jack Greenall, Great-Great-Grandson of the founder, seen here with his family, joins the management team at Gates to contribute to the family business dynasty.

Ford unveil their plans for Hybrid and Electric vehicles in Europe announcing 15 new hybrid and all-electric vehicles across the entire line-up. Meanwhile, plans and investments are well underway to ensure that all locations are fully equipped to support vehicle electrification.


Gates Ford dealership
In February 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK and by March, the country went into lockdown. During this time, our workshops continued to support key workers and their families. The business adapted in many different ways to allow operations to continue in a safe manner; these included the introduction of facilities such as buying online and click & collect. As restrictions were slowly eased, COVID-19 measures such as social distancing and the use of PPE/protective screens were introduced across all dealerships to keep customers and staff as safe as possible.