of the Bere Regis Petrol Stations
In 1896 the government passed the Locomotive Act enabling private
people to operate their own petrol-driven automobiles. At the
beginning, petroleum spirit was only available from chemists or
specialised stores. In time however, Petrol Stations started to
open. Below is a list and description of all the Petrol Stations,
that ever existed in the village - only one is now remaining.
- Bemister's Stores, 91 West Street
photograph of about 1896 shows a sign on the building of Bemisters
Stores reading "Pratt's Spirit". This was the earliest
form of petrol available, and would have been stocked for use
by the local gentry. It is possible that some local farm machinery
was also petrol driven, and it is known that by 1914 Major Radclyffe
owned a 35-hp Daimler motor car at Hyde House.
to 1950s - Corner Shop/17 North Street
Arthur Janes took over his father's shop and responding to demand
from "passing trade" set up a petrol-pump at the front
of the shop, on the Poole road side. A photograph of the late
1920s/early 1930s shows Mr Janes outside the shop together with
an early pump and "Mobiloil" signs. It is known that
T.E. Lawrence (aka T.E. Shaw; aka Lawrence of Arabia) stopped
here on his motor-cycle to purchase petrol, and chat with the
locals on "the cross" by 1933.
set of pumps were set up in a pull-in space on North Street shortly
after this. You can see them in the Photograph below -
the North Street side there were two 250 gallon underground tanks,
while at the front there were two 100 gallon underground tanks.
Mr Janes ceased operating the "Corner Shop" in the 1950s.
A photograph of about 1950 shows one Shell petrol pump on the
West Street side of the shop. An approximately 1960 photo shows
Esso petrol pumps on the North Street side of the building (above).
A 1970 photograph of the West Street side shows two Fina petrol
pumps next to the shop.
- Central Garage, 33 West Street
the Drax Arms, Mr Charles Kelloway had his engineers and blacksmiths
business adjacent to No.33 (now gone) together with workshops
behind. By the time of the 1931 Trade Directory, he described
his trade as "repairs, cycles, accessories, blacksmith",
with the business name "Central Garage". There was a
pull-in and two Shell petrol pumps from this time and a 1000 gallon
underground tank. There was a big sign on the gable end of No.33
saying "Central Garage", the sign was still there in
a photograph of 1957 and the business continued until about 1958-60.
Mr Kelloway died in 1962.
- West End Garage
the south side of the road, adjacent to an ex-WW1 65-foot long
wooden hut, a petrol station was set up by the Coles family. Petrol
pumps were begun on the east side of the hut and the kiosk was
also a small shop selling cycle parts and sweets etc. It was called
"West End Garage", and the hut survived until demolition
after 1988. By the 1960s another site was opened over the road
(in the triangle of land now occupied by The Chaneles) and called
"Woodbury Hill Service Station", but this site finally
closed in the late 1970s before the Chaneles were built. The site
had remained derelict for over two years. In the 1960s a new Shell
Filling Station was built to the east of the WW1 building. This
consisted of a pull-in site and a small shop, and continued until
closing in about 1980. An aerial photo dated February 1970 shows
the 65-foot wooden building and adjacent pull-in space, and the
next-door newer Filling Station in full operation. A photo of
1984 shows the newer forecourt still visible before the current
dwellings (No. 43/44) were put up in the late 1980s.
- Old Barn Service Station
in the space between No.36/37 and No.38 West Street on the site
of the "Old Barn" dating back to perhaps 1680 originally.
Mr & Mrs Charles Jarvis set up the pull-in filling station
in late 1956, selling Esso petrol, while the building also included
an "Esso Servicentre" for car servicing and repairs.
It was extended to the east by an additional building put up in
1961. There were four pumps and three 750 gallon underground tanks
plus a 325 gallon underground diesel tank. It finally closed in
the first half of 1988 and was demolished in April 1989.
1992 - Townsend Filling Station
on the by-pass at the junction of the A35 and A31, a photograph
dated January 1991 shows the site empty, but the industrial units
built. Originally this eight-pump filling station was owned by
Margram and leased to BP, but by about 1995 was owned by Shell,
as it still is in 2011. All the village filling stations had closed
by the time the Townsend site went into operation. It is now one
of the busiest filling stations in the area due to competitive
pricing of petrol and diesel. The site also has an extensively
stocked shop and a car-wash unit.
to the Village History Page
Bere Regis Village Website 2014 - Site by Chola Design