Saturday 3 March 2012


Editors Note: Following on from our Middlewich Diary entry on The Woodlands, Middlewich Diary contributor Mike Jennings e-mailed us with this account of working there in the 1970s, written by his wife Carol.
From what Carol says in her article, it's quite feasible that this photograph of  The Woodlands was actually taken in the early 70s, at around the time she worked there, rather than in the 1960s. Many thanks to Carol for her memories and to Mike (Jake) for sending them to us. - Dave Roberts


by Carol Jennings

I remember this garage very well.
I worked there for a year in 1973-74 when I was 17. I used to work at ERF during the day and then work three or four evenings a week - from 6pm to 10.30pm - at the petrol station for extra cash to pay for driving lessons.
Jelliman's did own it in the late 60s - early 70s but, after the death of Mr Jelliman, his wife sold the garage to a Jewish man called Mr Radivan from Manchester. He owned a few petrol stations, by all accounts.
Mrs Jelliman managed the place on a day-to-day basis for him, along with another lady whose name I don't recall. I do know that she lived on Newton Heath.
They showed me the ropes (or the pumps).
In those days there were no self-service pumps. You pulled up and waited for the petrol pump attendant (me) to come out and fuel your car.
I recall sitting in the little wooden hut between the six pumps with a small paraffin heater for warmth, but still it was cold and draughty.
I read countless books waiting between customers.
You have to remember that in those days there was nowhere to go - no late night shops.
You might get a few filling up on their way to or from Leighton Hospital, or going to work on nights.
I think it may have been the only late-opening petrol station in the area. There were no supermarkets with petrol stations then.
Looking back, it was quite lonely.
I'd cash up on my own and a lady from across the road would come and take the money for safe keeping until Mrs Jelliman opened up the next day.
In the 1970s the big house -'The Woodlands' - was unoccupied, with just one room at the front used as an office during the day.
But late at night it was dark and lifeless and spooky.
I was always glad when my boyfriend, now my husband Jake, came to pick me up.
And yes we were still giving Green Shield stamps in the 1970s too.
Twenty-thousand stamps, or twenty books, got you a torch - something like that.
Petrol was 37p per gallon.
It was 1973, the year of the oil crisis. Petrol rationing was in force and cars queued for miles for fuel.
Black Gold...still the same issues. Still a high price.

1 comment:

  1. Rosemarie Hamlett8 March 2012 at 23:07

    My sister worked there too Carole Edge,it was about the same time. My Nanna was good friends with Mrs Jelliman, I remember she used to read tea leaves, a really nice lady.


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