photos sourced by BaZa
These days, filling up, is, at best, a bland business. Seen one forecourt and you've pretty much seen it all.
But in the earlier days of motoring it could be an exotic experience - you might find yourself pulling
up at a quaintly thatched service station and even having your fuel dispensed from pumps with their
own thatched roofs. Alternatively, you might find your fuel being pumped from a novelty lighthouse.
English Heritage expert John Minnis has set about making an exhaustive list of the remarkable old filling
stations still standing in Britain, scouring dog-eared motoring magazines in his bid to track them down.
Starting off with the famous Ace Cafe London:
The Ace Cafe soon attracted motorcyclists. Once the cafe was established, the owner's thoughts turned to the motor trade. In 1939
he opened a service station with a battery of 10 pumps on adjoining land, with a spacious washing bay, showroom and repair shop.
If passing through Beckenham in Kent, you might be tempted to try its 'Chinese garage'
designed to look like a pagoda and staffed by attendants in Oriental silk robes.
Blashford, Hampshire, 1930, Renault Type NN Town Car
Old Brompton Road, London, 1935. Labour MP Tom Williams fills
his Rolls-Royce Phantom II with Coalene - petrol made from coal
Coupons are used to top up this tourer in 1945
Shell pumps in North Wales
Heartbeat's 'Aidensfield garage' in North Yorkshire
An old shell pump in St Mawes, Cornwall
An unsmiling attendant with a 1934 Singer Sport saloon, 1934
Using a long petrol hose to fill up a mid-Thirties Standard
Futuristic canopy over a Blue Star Forecourt, 1958
Colnbrook, Berkshire, 1929, French-made Delage
A really fabulous picture of Aston Brook Garage situated on the corner of Aston Road North and
Powell St. The picture shows a group of motorcyclists from the Moss Gear company around
1925. I bet it's a Sunday morning and they are all off for a ride down to the Cotswolds or similar.
Flights Garage, Victoria Rd, Aston. This picture was taken about 1933. The brand names show that
Shell, Mobil oil, Pratt's Motor Oil and CLICO were on sale here. You can see quite clearly the arm that
swung out over the pavement to serve motorcycles and cars that were parked on the road with petrol.
Mareham le Fen, Lincolnshire
Old petrol pump and oil cabinet This old petrol pump and oil cabinet, the remains of a long-closed
petrol station, stand in a small loop road off the A155 just on the west side of Mareham le Fen.
Old petrol pumps in Harrietsham village.
Standing in front of their petrol pumps is Sam Adair with his wife at the 12th
Milestone in Templepatrick. The sign behind them says: Please ring for Attendant
Above....AA (Automobile Association Breakdown Service Recovery) first Roadside Filling Station in 1920
The UK industry was years behind America. Britain did not have its first filling station until the AA began a service to its members in 1919 at Aldermaston in Berkshire.
Derelict: A once vintage garage that has become a local landmark near Llanberis, North Wales
Sold out: John Stokes, 78, beside the former pumps he manned in Stockbridge, Hampshire for 42 years
Gone forever: A picturesque Kiosk at Doverhay, Exmoor, North Devon before it was concreted over in 2002
Flushed out: The former Filling Station at Exford, Exmoor, North Devon, pictured here in 2007, whose future is currently uncertain
Station Road Garage and Transport
These ones are still going in Bala, North Wales:
photo by Jon aka Steppenwulf...
Bala Nth Wales: Plenty like these around if you know where to look,
most people think they are abandoned but when the fuel strikes hit the large forecourts these kind of places suddenly get busy again!
Great Missenden Buckinghamshire: