Seven Ways Service Station, a BWOC site in Bristol, is closing down this week due to economic reasons, after failing to find a buyer.
It was up for sale as a going concern for two years, according to Michael Touzalin, who has run the site with his wife Naclye (known as Naji) for 34 years. During that time it operated under many different fuel brands of fuel including Shell, Fina, Save and Q8.
“We had plenty of viewings,” he said. “We even attracted people from France - but nobody was interested in it as a petrol station. It has a small shop with 10 nozzles on the forecourt, and needed some investment. People were probably put off because the size of the site means there is limited scope for expansion.
“The location is terrific however – right by the M32 motorway – but it needed to be diversified into offering the many things other service stations offer.”
It may not have all that is expected in a modern-day service station, but Michael and Naji offered their own special brand of customer service. Their local paper the Bristol Post, described them as having been the “community-minded rocks of calm and helpfulness to the communities of Montpelier, St Paul’s and St Werburghs, as the world rushes around their oasis of forecourt calm”.
The newspaper reported that the gradual closure of the site, one of the city’s last family-run petrol stations, has prompted an outpouring of support and gratitude for Michael’s role in the community over all those years, both in person and on social media.
“I started here when I was 28, and it’s been an enjoyable way of life,” said Michael. It’s given me tremendous job satisfaction. People come here for help, and I try to help them in any way I can. Policemen serve the community, nurses do their thing and I’m doing my bit here to serve, that’s how it’s meant to be.”
The site stopped trading at the beginning of the week, the tanks are being de-commissioned as the site is now being sold by its owner for redevelopment.