Yes it’s true - although I don’t think it has really sunk in for me and a good many others yet - for the first time in 20 years there is no Mogas column at the back of the magazine. We shall all miss the extremely talented and insightful writings of our Mogas columnist, whose identity has always been a well-kept secret - despite the many attempts by one and all to uncover it! For the moment we will keep it that way - in case (and in the hope) that our beloved Mogas will one day pick up his pen again, if only on special occasions. After all, his knowledge and experience of the petrol retailing sector goes a long way back, to when the industry was a very different place - to a time when there were more than 20,000 forecourts, and licensees were a thriving sector of the fuel retailing community. Mogas had plenty to say about the many conflicts between oil companies and retailers, as the balance of power fluctuated; as well as the radical changes that have taken place in the industry; and the many characters that have come and gone. Remember the Manic Hen? That was a Mogas-ism, concocted from the surname of a Texaco executive who created havoc in the network in the ’90s. His more recent columns remain on the website for you to peruse. Meanwhile, we’re more than happy to pass on your sentiments to him - he still has forecourts, although is busy pursuing other businsses.
So, while it would be impossible to fill his shoes, we have launched a new column in its place, called ’A Day in the Life’ which this month features a great piece by the inimitable Paul Sykes, md of Shaws Petroleum, and former PRA president. We hope to bring you the writings of other industry characters in the coming months.
Talking of which, make sure you participate in our forthcoming online vote at www.forecourttraderawards.co.uk for the retailer you think deserves the industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award - sponsored by P&H. The result will be revealed at our awards ceremony in September.