Lost petrol stations in Walsall Wood and Brownhills.
At the start of my motoring career in the late 1950’s / 1960’s, petrol was available in a choice of octane ratings, 2, 3, 4, & 5 star, with 5 star mainly for high performance engines. The average family car ran on 4 star, which cost 4 shillings and 11 pence per gallon, and my Austin 10 saloon ran quite well on it.
It was common practice in those days to have a small amount of Redex upper cylinder lubricant added to the petrol when it was pumped into the vehicle. Known as “a shot”, Redex cost 1 penny for every gallon of petrol, putting the cost up to 5 shillings per gallon, or 4 gallon (18 Litres) for £1-00. Cost of 4 gallon at todays prices (Jan 2010) is £23.22.
Back in the early 1960’s, fuel in Walsall Wood and Brownhills could be purchased from a choice of Eleven filling stations.
On top of Shire Oak hill stood Kennings, which offered a 24 hour service selling Shell fuels. The main building still stands but only as a car and van rental company operated by Golds.
Travelling along the A461 towards Walsall, through Walsall Wood, just passed the Wyrley & Essington canal, there were 2 filling stations, either side of Brickyard Road. Motor City Car Sales now stands on the site of the former Jet garage
Adjacent to Barons Court Hotel, is the building which formed part of the Mobil petrol station.
A few hundred yards away on the opposite side of the road was the Texaco filling station, which today is a van sales and car wash.
Travelling back towards Brownhills, along the Lindon Road, one could purchase fuel from the Anchor Garage. Not selling petrol today but it is an excellent workshop and MOT centre.
Travelling along the High Street into Brownhills, opposite the entrance to Ogley Road was the Forward Garage operated by Dunn & Hale coaches trading as Glider Tours.
Dunn & Hale was taken over by Harper Bros in the 1960’s and John Matthews took over the garage and fuel sales.
Today the premises lie vacant as the latest occupant Planet Wheels re-located.
In the centre of Brownhills High Street, Regent petrol was sold at the Independent Suspension Garage.
Today Kwik Fit tyre sales occupy the site, but rumour as it that Tesco have bought it for future expansion.
Opposite Holland Park on the Chester Road North was the Central Garage owned by Enoch Simpson who sold Jet fuel. After closure it is now a tyre sales and car valeting company.
Boston’s garage in the Lichfield Road is another establishment from the past.
Today Motor Mobile operate a successful recovery and service business on the site.
On the A5 at Newtown Bridge motorists could fill their cars at the Petrol Pantry.
Today they can only fill their stomachs at the Terrace Restaurant.
Finally on the way to Norton Canes, Bakers Garage sold petrol to passing motorists, but now it is only a workshop and MOT centre.
Sadly none of the aforementioned fuel stations exist today. The only supplier of petrol & diesel in this area is Tesco (every little helps)
It’s ironic that today with more and more vehicles on the road, petrol availability in Walsall Wood & Brownhills is less than 10% of what is was in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Sixty years of progress or what?
Finally one general comment with regard to local shops and facilities.
USE THEM OR LOSE THEM.