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Creating a legacy (Pt 3)

Exeter-based Top 50 Indie, the Chartman Group, has finally completed the redevelopment of its flagship Winning Post site on the A38 at Haldon Hill (see April and May issues for previous reports). The site lies within an area of great landscape value, and the design brief was for a high-quality development in sympathy with its surroundings, and distinct from the normal filling station appearance. In order to achieve this, the canopy lid has been designed to reflect a tree canopy spread, supported on slender raking columns which represent the trunks, further enhanced by minimising fascia signage. The store is clad in a sustainable alternative to real wood to provide a natural feel. The weekly reports were provided by John Carp, site manager of Williams Southern Ltd.

Pride of Portsbridge

It's been a painstaking process but last month saw the opening of a glorious redevelopment of a forecourt site in Cosham, Portsmouth, by the family-run Garner Group. Brothers Mike and Tim Garner, along with financial director Dave Auger, have overseen an amazing transformation of Portsbridge Service Station, a small, traditional garage on a restricted irregular-shaped plot, which has been brought into the 21st century with a modern, spacious Jet-branded forecourt, and a stylish 2,200sq ft Nisa convenience store. It is also the first petrol station in the country to feature the new Nisa format.

Creating a legacy (Pt 2)

After a rather flood-ridden start, progress has continued steadily at the new leading-edge forecourt being built by the Chartman Group, the Exeter-based Top 50 Indie, which has nine sites. The company received planning approval for the redevelopment of its iconic Winning Post location near Exeter last year, and all was set for the start of the year, but the weather had other ideas. Work finally began in mid January. Director Clive Chartman describes the project as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity", and says the intention is to build a flagship site for Chartman which will provide a legacy for the company, and a landmark on the A38 route into Devon and Cornwall. The weekly reports are provided by John Carp, site manager of Williams Southern Ltd.

A new beginning

They'd had their eye on it for eight years, and finally last December the Cheema family acquired their first forecourt.

Forecourt store picks up top convenience award

Former Forecourt Trader of the Year winner Parkfoot Garage was crowned Convenience Retailer of the Year 2014 at the Convenience Retail Awards, organised by trade magazines Convenience Store and The Grocer.

Sealing the deal

He said he'd never do it, but in February Ken Kay confirmed that he'd put all his eggs into one basket, by signing the final one of his 12 sites over to the Texaco brand. "I have never wanted to do it because putting everything in one basket is a risk, and I've always tried to balance risk," said Ken, who is CEO of the Blackburn-based Kay Group (UK) Ltd.

Creating a legacy

When last-minute planning issues pushed back the start date on Chartman's knockdown and rebuild of its flagship Winning Post Filling station, near Plymouth, Devon, they could not have imagined what a challenge the elements would present.

First Costco PFS to open by summer

The US retail giant Costco has confirmed to Forecourt Trader that its first UK petrol filling station (PFS) is scheduled to open before the summer.

BP accused of trying to wipe out customer's site

The owner of a BP garage has accused the oil giant of aiming to wipe out his business after it won planning permission for a massive development just 50m from his site.

Site suffers from storm damage

Emergency services had to be called to Hazlegrove Services in Yeovil, Somerset, to deal with storm damage to the canopy.

Sainsbury's milestone

A new Sainsbury's forecourt and store represent a major milestone for the supermarket giant as the number of Sainsbury's Local stores has exceeded its supermarkets for the first time.

Shell shocker

Customers making their regular stop at Tanerdy Garage in Carmarthen were in for a bit of a shock. Not only was it the start of 2014 and time to get back to work, but the colours were all different on their local forecourt. Colours that had been there for 85 years...

Nisa-ly does it

Over the past 30 years Barry and Joan Raw have built up a strong business which, at its peak, sold over 15 million litres of fuel from three sites in the North East of England. Until recently, all three sites retailed under the Jet brand with what the family described as a "standard fuel and shop offering". However, in July 2013 they made a pioneering move to convert one of their sites to a full Nisa-branded operation at Redworth Service Station in Shildon on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland, with fuel supplied by Greenergy. On completion of the work, fuel and shop sales increased by 20% almost overnight. "It was like turning on a light," says Joan. "People could see what we were offering and clearly liked what they saw."

World class service

Once again the cheers rang out for Euro Garages at the glittering occasion of the annual Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards in September. Having taken the top award in 2011 for its Beehive site in Blackburn, the group was once again presented with the most prestigious trophy in the fuel retailing sector, this time for its Calder Park development in Wakefield.

Spar to the rescue

There's a new name on the pole sign at Geoff Harland's B&M Harland forecourt in Pickering, North Yorkshire. And although it's a name well known throughout the forecourt industry, it's the first time that it's appeared as branding on fuel. Supplied by Harvest Energy, B&M Harland has been offering Spar-branded fuel since August, and it's already proving to be a great success.

Motoring ahead

There can't be many service stations around nowadays that date back so far that they've gone from doling out hay and water to horses and carriages, right the way through to serving today's fuel-thirsty vehicles and their demanding drivers/passengers. But that's just what's happened at Prestwick-based David Bryson & Son. It all began in 1902, when David Bryson started offering a service to the horses and carriages coming through the tolls. He had stables that fed and watered them.

Winning the battle

St George's Service Station, Church Way, Doncaster was a site in decline with pump volumes falling to two million litres (from four million at its peak), weekly shop sales of less than £5,000, a forecourt full of pot holes and a canopy leaking like a sieve. Lack of investment over a number of years had taken its toll, staff morale was understandably low and the town centre location was no longer on the radar of motorists or pedestrians. It looked like the site's days as a petrol filling station were numbered.

All's swell at Bradwell

Earlier this year Refuel & Go's Bradwell Service Station in Braintree was awarded the accolade of Symbol Retailer of the Year at Palmer & Harvey's Pro Retail gala dinner.

Simply great

Set in the beautiful, rural landscape of Weare in Somerset, the long-established family business of GH Lunn distinguished itself in May by becoming the first forecourt to feature the relatively new, but fast-growing Simply Fresh symbol branding.

Share and share alike

The 'Park & Shop' forecourt convenience brand, successfully developed and implemented by the Park Garage Group across more than 50 forecourts, is now available to operators through the UK as the company looks to further extend its involvement in petrol convenience retailing. Recognised by the industry as a 'Top 30' grocer and listed at number three in the 2012 Forecourt Trader 'Top 50 Indies', the £200m turnover family-run business is eager to share its success and buying-power discounts with other dealers.

Those golden years

You'd need a book to properly relate the life of the colourful character that is Peter Hockenhull, managing director of Leicestershire-based Top 50 Indie Hockenhull Garages. He has a great many stories to tell after 50 years in the fuel retailing business and that's before you get onto his forays into other business ventures in sports, country pubs and insurance; his farming, butcher's shop, ex-merchant navy, and ex-army background; as well as his love of animals, tennis, his wife, seven children and 11 grandchildren.

Retailer profile: Hordle Garage

Attention quickly turns to the unlikely presence of a retro American ambulance parked next to the price pole sign on a visit to Hordle Garage near New Milton in Hampshire's New Forest.

Hindmarch Garage

A forecourt business waits for no one even if a late fuel delivery is threatening to hold the owner up for their daughter's wedding. That's what happened to Andrew and Diane Hindmarch, who run Hindmarch Garage in Stamford, Lincolnshire. It was undoubtedly one of the busiest weekends of their lives their daughter's big day, the Diamond Jubilee, and their last weekend as Total dealers.

Retailer Profile: Brobot Group

It's been more than two decades since the Brobot Group built a site from scratch, but the Top 50 Indie's latest development on a greenfield site in Corby's Southern Gateway is a striking concept and represents a new departure for the retailer.

Retailer profile: Sewell Retail

L ast year was an unsettled one for Hull-based Sewell Retail. When Total announced that it intended to sell its UK retail and marketing operations in September 2010, the Top 50 Indie was thrown into disarray.

Retailer profile: Gerald Ronson

When the Rontec consortium emerged last year as the lead bidder for Total, the question on many people's lips was: "Why is Gerald Ronson still messing around with petrol stations?"

Mo'gas: An irreverant view from the network

Hello to you all, long time no speak! So there I was, when my phone rang. "It's Merril, Forecourt Trader's 25 years old and I wondered if you would contribute to our anniversary edition?" Twenty five years where has the time gone? Where has my hair gone, for that matter?!

Jos Richardson & Son

Joseph Richardson had been happily living in the city and working for a big corporate company as a graduate, but the potential expansion of his dad Tim's forecourt business proved enough of a draw to take him back to his Yorkshire roots.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 11 March 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East130.5857.70131.02121.25
East Midlands130.10132.90120.67
London130.7058.90132.45121.26
North East129.08134.29119.18
North West129.62132.39119.92
Northern Ireland128.35125.75119.27
Scotland130.17130.45120.18
South East130.8571.90133.04121.53
South West130.29132.15121.01
Wales129.28127.89119.64
West Midlands129.9664.90133.23120.58
Yorkshire & Humber129.42131.73119.63

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