Closing the door on 45 years of service to Bury drivers
Redevelopment will see the closure at the end of the month pof part of Bury St Edmunds motoring history.
It is then Peter Rose will lock the doors on Tayfen Autopoint, the former Total petrol station in Tayfen Road, for the last time after 45 years on the site.
He had worked there for a year before he and business partner Jack Stokes took it over, running a business selling ex-AA Mini and Morris 1000 vans at a petrol station.
It was then a Burmah petrol station with a small shop and was rebuilt in 1988.
“Previous to that, we used to have to go out and serve customers,“ Peter recalled. “When it was rebuilt we were one of the first petrol stations in the country to apply for an off licence.
“We were refused at first – the council was worried about drink driving – but we went appeal at Crown Court and won and it was a good thing we did.”
Peter said today the small profit a petrol station makes on fuel pays only for the running of the site (about 60 per cent of the pump price is tax), so the money made in the shop and on the car wash is important.
He added: “My view is that you have to give customers what they want and you’ve got to have good, reliable staff. We’ve got staff who have been here 16 years and shortest is two-and-a-half years.
“We also want to thank all the customers we’ve had over the years.”
If the area around the garage looks tatty today, Peter says it was far worse.
“When we started there was a scrap yard on one side and a transport depot over there,” he said. “In those days, when they were servicing the lorries they just poured the old oil anywhere.”
The area will be redeveloped for housing.