Aldermaston's petrol station

Author Nick Evans, in his book Fuelling the Motoring Age: 100 Years of British Petrol Stations,published in 2019 by The History Press, reveals that the A4 near Aldermaston was the location, for the first purpose-built filling station in the entire country. English Heritage record “The first filling station in England was opened in November 1919 at Aldermaston, Berkshire by the Automobile Association (AA).” More details can be found by clicking on: England’s first petrol station

In Aldermaston Village, Mr Ford the farrier decided to “diversify” from shoeing horses to providing fuel for the new “horseless carriages” but needed the permission of the owner, Mr Charles Keyser. Mt Keyser consented but, to preserve the look of the village, insisted that the apparatus be concealed behind a brick wall, with just a hole for the nozzle and hose to pass through. The photos below show the resulting installation both in the 1920’s and the same view 100 years later.

On the left margin the to "SHELL" signs can be seen, one atop each gate pillar. The signs, in ground glass, have sadly long since disappeared.
In this close-up, the details can be more clearly seen.
The same view in 2020' The brick wall was rebuilt recently but the hole for the petrol pipe has been faithfully replicated and can be seen near the black drainpipe.
Peter Oldridge

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