Greenfield landmark gives fuel for thought

A GREENFIELD landmark has been removed, cutting the last links with a famous Saddleworth family transport business.

And the fate of what is believed to be the parish’s oldest surviving fuel pump is yet unknown.

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The petrol pump

The solitary, Avery Hardoll dispenser, had been a feature of Chew Valley Road for nearly 30 years. But its lifespan can be traced back to the early 1960s, possibly the late 50s.

Now it’s gone, removed to storage after being hit and damaged by a careless driver who was turning around in the yard.

The pump was owned and primarily used by A & J Butterworth haulage business founded in 1912 and Kenneth Wood, 85 and a former company director, revealed the pump’s history.

“We didn’t buy it new but got it second hand from Fletcher’s Paper Mill,” he explained. “They were having two new pumps and the ones they were taking out we had them of them.

“We got it in the 80s and it was probably around 25 years old already. The last time it was commercially used was 2006 when we finished the transport business.”

Greenfield and Saddleworth were once well blessed with filling stations. Dene Garage was last to close in the village while Scouthead Filling Station survives but only as a site for car sales.

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GAP: Where the petrol pump was removed

We probably had the first petrol pump in Greenfield as well,” recalls Kenneth. “But well before my time.

“My step father used to sell petrol out of two gallon cans before pumps were introduced. I would imagine pumps were first put in on Chew Valley Road in the late 1920s.

“When I came to live here in 1941 there was a new electric pump and a mechanical hand pump. At one time we had about five pumps operating.”

So, what of the pump’s future. “At this stage I don’t know,” admitted Kenneth.

“There are a few people interested in buying it and it could possibly be used by my granddaughter’s partner who is mechanically minded and looking to open a motorcycle garage.

“There’s some thought it could be good publicity if it stands outside the garage. But I honestly don’t know because I am not sentimental towards it.”

The first filling station in England was opened in 1919 by the Automobile Association. By 1923 more than 7,000 pumps were in operation throughout the UK.

 

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