Welcome to our silver anniversary issue. Yes, unbelievably Forecourt Trader is 25 years old, and in celebration the team has pulled the stops out to create this bumper issue.

There have been many imitators of Forecourt Trader such as Service Station, Forecourt Retailer and Forecourt News. But no magazine has ever been able to surpass Forecourt Trader as the leading journal of the petrol-retailing sector. Indeed, none of those titles has survived.

Talking of industry leaders, the great Gerald Ronson was kind enough to make time to give us an interview (Retailer focus, page 20). He talked a great deal about his passion for the industry and his plans for Rontec. His achievements are amazing, as is the fact he still travels hundreds of miles on most Saturdays visiting dozens of forecourts to check they’re operating to the best standards (athough this fact might be a little less amazing for those managers who haven’t got their sites in order!).

We have done our best to pick out the key moments of the past 25 years although space restrictions meant much ended up on the cutting room floor. But it’s interesting how the same problems fuel prices and the predatory behaviour of certain oil companies and supermarkets have constantly plagued the industry.

Next, a real treat. Having retired from the magazine in 2009, Mo’Gas has dusted down his typewriter to make a special contribution to our silver issue. Our infamous column Mo-Gas first came on the scene in 1988 Mo’Gas was a slang word for petrol. He wrote his column for the magazine for 20 years, entertaining readers with his potent mix of acerbic wit and razor-sharp insight into the petrol-retailing sector. But equally he prompted debates among everyone, from retailers and suppliers to oil company executives, over his identity. All is revealed on page 78.

Another ’special’ for this issue is the chance to win £18,000-worth of equipment from Petroman. Happy anniversary!