Friday, September 4, 2015

Upton on Severn, Worcestershire


Revisiting: Illuminating globe

There are people (you know who you are) who have been reading this blog since before April 2008, when I posted the first of several pieces about the Worcestershire town of Upton on Severn and focused on its two memorable garages, one an art deco surprise, the other in a converted chapel. Those with sharp eyes would have noticed that in my original picture of Shipp’s, the second garage, there was a rather old petrol pump, topped with one of those distinctive globes that petrol companies once used to advertise their wares. I think it was a Cleveland Discoll pump globe but for some reason I didn’t photograph it in close-up. I’m sorry I didn’t, because it has gone now. The garage is happily still there, though, and they’ve replaced the old globe with a shiny white and red Shell one. When I passed it the other day I didn’t make the same mistake and got the camera out right away.

The Shell oil company adopted their scallop shell symbol back in 1904, having tried a mussel previously. The earliest of the company’s pump-top globes were literally and simply globe-shaped – they introduced shell-shaped globes in 1929. They made various designs, with changes to the exact shape of the scallop and legends advertising ‘Shell Derv’, ’Super Shell’, and ‘Shell Diesoline’, as well as the plain and simple ‘Shell’ type. This example in Upton looks to be one of the kind introduced in the early 1950s. There’s more information about Shell globes, together with much more fascinating material about old garages, on the excellent Vintage Garage site, here. You can be sure of that.

10 comments:

Bill Nicholls said...

Looks very new to me from your photo.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Bill: Yes. I did wonder. Can you get reproductions? It looks the right design though. And that, for me, is the main thing.

Philip Wilkinson said...

..yes, you can get reproductions, as a little Googling quickly revealed.

LeeAnn at Mrs Black's said...

I love industrial buildings and places and always feel sorrow when they get (usually badly) modernised, or knocked down. These old fuel stations are some of my favourites and I try to photograph them when I come upon them. Thanks for sharing!

Peter Ashley said...

Ah yes, right up my forecourt. And you've reminded me to stop and photograph something similar the next time I run through Foster's Booth on the A5 between Weedon and Towcester.

Philip Wilkinson said...

LeeAnn: If you click on the link saying GARAGE in the SOME TOPICS... bit in the right-hand column, you'll find more posts about garagaes.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Peter: Thank you. You have got me going now. I think I know where you mean, though...

Merisi said...

Interesting piece of history, thank you!

bazza said...

Yes the shell does look new and makes the pump look very old. It's surprising if it is still in normal use!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Eileen Wright said...

Great petrol pump. I must admit that I do prefer the old pump casing to the new globe though, lol.
About missing opportunities, there were a couple of times when I almost did that concerning two sets of pumps. A couple used to be outside a garage in Seaton (Devon), where I live. I thought one day that I really ought to get a photo of them, which I did, using black & white film, and it's a good job I did as they disappeared shortly afterwards. A pity I didn't get a colour pic as well, mind.
The other time was even more coincidental. I'd been meaning to visit the Motoring Museum at Colyford for several years, and never got around to it. One day, I was on a bus which went past, and on a whim I jumped off and went into the museum. Which was very, very fortuitous, as the museum was due to close down at the end of the week with it's contents being sold off. Fortunately, the outside pumps were kept and are still there, but there were many more inside which may never be seen together again.