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.


17 Responses to “Lost petrol stations in Walsall Wood and Brownhills.”

  1. stymaster Says:

    There’s a lot fewer petrol stations even than 10 years ago: despite the high cost of fuel, only about 4p/litre goes to the retailer, so only the ones with shops attached survive.

    I’m amazed the Mobil building still stands: I can remember it being open, but that was years ago: early 1980s?

  2. Pat Says:

    Hi I remember that Ralph Ferrie opened a petrol station on the A5 where
    he had his lorry sales his wife Amy used to be in the office she was the
    daughter of Albert Warrington who was the policeman in Walsall wood.


      ellen :
      can i just say that amy was not my fathers wife she was married my grandad charlie ferrie untill he passed away !!!!!!!

  3. clive Says:

    Hello, I used to work at the petrol station at Newtown Bridge, back in 1969, the foremans name was Mr. Chance. can`t remember the gaffers name though, but do know he owned poplar sevice station also, thats the one on the Lichfield road (A461) at the corner of Barracks lane. on the photo of the garage on the righthand side of the building was the cafe, on my dinner breaks I would have pie chips and peas which was apart of my wages.
    cheers all, clive

  4. Nick Cutler Says:


    Can anyone tell me a little more about the Central Garage.
    I own an American Car a 1967 Mercury Cougar which according to the DVLA was 1st registered in the UK to Central Garage Cester Road North Brownhills on or around November 1969. Does anyone remember the Car which was Gold in Colour and had the Reg No 66 VBF. Would like to know more about the Garage or the Car if anyone recalls anything. Thanks Nick

  5. Mike hawes Says:

    I’m still surprised the Total garage is still there on Northgate in aldridge, if that goes there will only be the BP at middlemore lane which for some reason is always several pence more expensive than anywhere else.

    • Peter Says:

      Even more surprising is the fact that the BP one on Middlemore lane is still there. With McKecnie’s a shadow of it’s former self and BRd shut it’s a bit like a ghost town in comparison to what it was! Anyone remember the Service Station on the main road out of Lichfield towards the white House pub? Billy Bunn rings a bell

      • Peter Says:

        Sorry meant to say on the way from Aldridge to the WhiteHorse Pub!!!

      • oakparkrunner Says:

        Yes I remember Billy Bunns aka The Aldridge Garage. I purchased a Morris 1100 from there in 1967. The manager was Cyril Taylor, I was best man at his daughter Anne’s wedding.

  6. Nick Cutler Says:

    Hi Mick thanks for the information.

  7. Bill Breakwell Says:

    Enjoyed reading the comments about the lost Brownhills garages. I was a young salesman working for a company Simms and Short of Walsall in the late sixties and use to call on many of the garages mentioned selling accessories such as Champion spark plugs, Turtle wax polish , Fram filters ,and many other products.

    • John Llewellyn. Says:

      Hi Billy I well remember working with you at Simms and Short in Lichfield Street in Walsall. I think you were Sales Manager (known as Billy Brake Lining)

      • Bill Breakwell Says:

        Hi John
        It does not seem so long ago the Simms&Short days yes that’s me Billy Brake Lining.
        It was at a time when you actually had 1hr lunch and we used to go to the Arboretum and play football
        S&S. v Kennings Garage.
        Most of the garages listed used to be customers of S&S the days when a champion N5 spark was 5shilling mind you I think I only earned about
        £11-10s a week.

  8. John Llewellyn. Says:

    Hi Bill
    It might not seem that long but it’s actually about 40 years ago!
    I well remember the football in the lunch break. After football it was back to work re-lining commercial brake shoes for BRS, S Jones of Aldridge and Horace Kendrick.
    Happy days and good to hear from you.

  9. martin walters Says:

    In n1966 I worked in Brownhills for reema construction we where from chesterfield built 100 houses all concrete panels bought our petrol from bakers garage I think it was on whatling rd is the garage there and are the houses still intact


    • oakparkrunner Says:

      I can’t comment on the houses, but Bakers Garage is still there in Hednesford Road (off the Watling Street) It no longer sells petrol, just vehicle servicing and MOT’s Regards Godfrey (oakparkrunner)

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