Rise and Fall of Service Stations

Rise and Fall of Service Stations

Mark Baker not only knows how to entertain, but is able to transport the audience back in time. Who knew the story of service stations, is so engaging?

Snapshots of Mark’s presentation.

Businesses in ‘Servicing’ horses and buggies shifted to servicing this new transport technology that saw blacksmiths become mechanics and cans of petrol replace chaff.

It’s a story that’s interesting to reflect on as we transition from petrol driven engines to EVs and other alternatives.

Mark focuses his talk on the section of Ipswich Road from Annerley Road through to Moorooka.

As the ‘Bowser’ branded pump technology took off so too did service stations, and awkward filling of vehicles from the footpath.

Eventually service stations with forecourts became the norm, enabling cars to pull in off the road.

Changing styles in vehicle access to pumps

For a time, Annerley boasted the only female service station proprietor in the state :- Peg Corbett (nee Conroy) owned the Mobil Service Station (cnr Ekibin Road & Ipswich Road) from 1944-1958. Her daughter, Michelle Hiller kindly share some photos of her mum, Peg.

Peg Corbett, nee Conroy, Queenslands first female service station proprietor

Mark stirred memories of petrol station rosters as these small family businesses managed which ones would open of a Sunday.

Changing service

Some will remember always keeping a stock of 20c pieces in the car, to shove in coin operated pumps for after hours petrol.

Driveway service became self-serve, and boom became bust, as the market and its players changed.

I grew up on Marshall Road and I have clear recollections of the three service stations at the Toohey Road intersection: a Shell, an Amoco, and BP.

None of these service stations exist today, but some of the driveway infrastructure is still discernable.

Mark covered much more than this brief post. Notes of Mark’s engaging talk can be found below.

Mark’s talk framed the way technology drives social change, and the way it shapes suburbs as well as our day to day lives.

Range of petrol brands