1950s.. New Elizabethan Era


The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II heralded a new dawn for the nation. The war was slowly slipping into the past and petrol rationing a memory. Petrol retailers were re-establishing their brand identities now that the Pool restrictions were over. Also the pump manufactures were introducing new ranges, these were not so flashy as their pre-war counter parts but distinctly more modern.

The introduction by the fuel companies of the Solus trading agreement would change petrol retailing forever. No longer would a filling station offer a variety of brands with each pump being a different colour and wear a different illuminated globe. Each brand would cover various grades for example Economy, Regular, Super and Premium, the retailer would sign up to one of the big companies and sell just one brand. Visually this gave a uniformed appearance to the forecourt.

Adding to this the oil companies had been buying into the pump manufacturers, as the filling stations were refurbished the old mixture of various pumps would be replaced by a line of identical models all in the same livery. Also appearing on the forecourt was the Diesel pump, often this was extremely dirty and kept well away from the other pumps.

However; this new found euphoria would be short lived. In 1956 Egypt nationalised the Suez Canal and the Suez Crisis began. This caused massive shortages and rationing, albeit only for a while was re-introduced.