What do Santa Claus, a Spitfire plane and the Tardis have in common? All have found a home on the roof of local London company, Vanguard Self Storage.
For decades now, motorists on the A40 have been treated to an ever-changing roof display at the company’s West London branch in Greenford. From war planes to double decker buses, this otherwise unassuming building is regularly livened up with a variety of intriguing items the company has collected over its 50 year history.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
The Vanguard roof has certainly seen its fair share of curiosities, which have not gone unnoticed by passing motorists.
Christmas welcomes the annual arrival of Santa Claus, either as a standalone figure or seated in his reindeer-pulled sleigh – which has always been a firm favourite with the children.
Military articles have been a frequent feature of the roof, with pieces including a Spitfire, a Hawker Hunter war plane, and a 17 tonne anti-aircraft gun. The piece closest to Vanguard’s heart is a replica of a WW1 tank, which took pride of place on the roof to mark the outbreak of the famous conflict – the tank was affectionately named Edwin, after a fallen ancestor of Vanguard co-founder and veteran soldier, Mac McCullagh.
Other items of interest have included a Dr. Who Tardis, a double decker bus, and a 1967 advert for the Daily Mail. The roof has also served as an unusual parking space for one of McCullagh’s very own cars!
An intriguing history
Vanguard’s quirky roof displays are a reflection of a long, reputable and occasionally eccentric history. These objects are mostly, and unbelievably, cast-offs that have been amassed by McCullagh through Vanguard’s lifting and storage work – managed by McCullagh and his partners, Ian Sandeberg and Eddie McCormack.
Whilst a storage company today, Vanguard started life as a heavy-lifting company, taking on big jobs across the capital. For two decades, Vanguard were responsible for the lifting and planting of the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, a yearly gift from Norway to Britain in remembrance of the relationship formed in WW2.
Other notable tasks have included dismantling and reinstalling London’s famous Eros statue, working on Buckingham Palace’s air conditioning plant, and assisting with a tight-rope walk across the Thames.
Established for over 50 years, Vanguard Self Storage plan to continue as a dependable provider of self storage units across London and Manchester – and, of course, will carry on delighting A40 motorists with their striking roof displays.