and Suspension Repairs’ Story
In 1921 Robert Wescott Edge established Edges Coachworks attached to
Collins Foundry situated where Woolworths now stands in Anson street. The
business, which as a stage coach building business, moved with technology and
with the introduction of motor cars, branched onto repairing springs in trucks
and coaches while using the old fashioned wood furnace and sledge hammer method.
Robert Wescott Edge learnt the coach building trade at Neville in the early
1900’s before moving to Orange to work with Charles Collier and Co (where Best
& Less stands today), Collier and Co manufactured 35 sulkies a week. Most
of the years Mr Edge spent with Colliers, he was foreman of the company.
Robert’s son Jack Edge joined the business around 1939, prior to the
second world war as a carpenter. Jack took over the business shortly after the
war and moved to the laneway off Sale Street, behind Summer Street in Orange. Jack
Edge had a very interesting history of experience…there’s a whole book he wrote
on it actually, of his inventions and experiments during the war and the many
mechanical advancements he was able to make in the middle of unknown countries
with very little to work with!
Jack’s brother Carl Edge also came to work with the family after he was
injured in a rugby match. He suffered from his injuries and was unable to
complete his studies to become a priest. He worked for Jack for many years
until his health got the better of him and he was admitted to a nursing home in
Cowra. He loved to sing and was greatly admired by the staff of the nursing
John Johnson and his son Ray took over the lease of the sheds and
eventually the business during a transition period from around 1985. John
Johnson had experience with spring repairs in modern coaches and trucks for
many years and worked with the Ford Company in England. He assisted in building
Thames trucks in Britain. John also has a very interesting history but he
refuses to ever put it in writing!
Jack and John were also singers and both members of the Orpheus Choir.
John married his wife Barbara in 1956 and didn’t have anywhere to live. Jack
had lost his first wife and had a flat that was vacant and needed finishing
(paint, fireplace etc.). Jack gave the flat to John and Barbara rent free until
it was finished, he gave the newlyweds quite a bit of help to get on their feet
and in return John helped out in the workshop and worked weekends and
weeknights after his truck run. Jack Edge was diagnosed with cancer and his
health and business were suffering so John said he would give up his truck run
and come and work for Jack full time. Jack asked that John come and take it
over instead and as they say the rest is history!
It is hard to put the closeness of these two families on paper, really
there is no blood relation. As a small child growing up I always thought of the
Edge’s as extended family. I knew Ray and his sister were close with Jack’s
kids growing up and that John and Jack had a friendship that extended many
years and many hardships. Their family was always at my grandparents’ house on
Easter and Christmas morning. I think the connection is one that is not easily
understood in today’s society a true gentleman’s friendship of old.
Johns and Ray Johnson gave the business another huge transition in 1994,
moving the business to the new Leewood Industrial Estate and renaming the
business Orange Spring & Suspension Repairs. This move saw huge expansion
in technology and warehousing, they moved from a wood to a gas furnace,
friction screw press to reset leaf springs rather than various sledge hammers,
hoists in place of a pit, and in a few years saw the move also into laser wheel
In 1996 John moved to retirement, leaving Ray to operate the business on
his own with a couple of employees. During this time, Ray did an impressive job
of running the office and workshop with only a few hands for help.
In 2008 Chad Brindley, Ray’s soon to be son in law joined the business
as an employee bringing a new modern twist to the vast knowledge of the
business. Chad had an extensive list of experience working for a local dealership
in various roles, working on modern cars, 4wd’s and heavy commercial vehicles.
Chad also has a tremendous passion for 4WDS, having spent most of his life
travelling the country with his family in various Landover’s. Chad’s father is
also a blacksmith so Chad also has various skills in both sides of the
In 2009 Angie Johnson-Brindley, Ray’s daughter, also came to join the
team. She also had a passion for cars and business growing up but Ray told her
to ‘go out and learn what you can from others before you could come and joint
the business’. Angie is a qualified spare parts interpreter, having worked in
retail outlets, truck dealership, and forklift dealership.
In July 2013, Chad and Angie joined Ray as partners in the business to
start to transition for Ray to retire over the coming years.
In recent years we have spent some time and money updating our tools,
building, offices and equipment. We have re-branded and moved our workshop and
offices into the modern technological age of computers. We have purchased a
state of the art 3D wheel alignment system, upgraded hoists and built up the
workshop to be usually booked out for 2-4 weeks and with substantial parts
sales outside of the workshop. Allicia (Ray’s niece) and Angie are happy to use
their skills to source any hard to find parts not limited to suspension and
2012 we also had Allicia Richards join the team as a trainee spare parts
interpreter, she gained her full qualification 2016 and now oversees most of
the day to day operations, booking workshop appointments, ordering and
organising parts etc. Allicia is our new ‘Officer in charge of first
impressions’ while Angie is working part time or from home raising a new
As one of very few workshops left in Australia to still successfully
reset leaf springs, we try to hold dearly our manufacturing history. This style
of blacksmithing is an old art that is becoming endangered. We also try to keep
the business busy but small to maintain our personal approach to our customers.
We like to customise each vehicle to each application and provide a face to
face personal service in each and everything we do.
Day to day we offer a huge range of parts available in stock or quickly
procured as the need arises. In house we manufacture u-bolts, reset leaf
springs, offer full workshop fitting and repairs services along with thorough
wheel alignment and balancing technology services. We also complete GVM
upgrades on various vehicles before and after registration (in consultation
with an outsourced engineer as required). We offer full consultation services
and free inspections where required before bookings or quotes are finalised to
make sure the customer is well aware of their options before making any
decisions. Above all else we love what we do and we love to make your car into
your dream car!