Esso Filling Station.
Shown below is an old photo-postcard featuring the Esso petrol station, once situated at Blacksmith's Corner in Clavering. Just how different is this scene to the modern filling station!!! Many old garages started out as cycle repair shops attached to the site of a domestic house, then graduated into automobile repairs in the early 20th Century, with fuel coming along later as the roadside petrol pump gained in popularity. Prior to the pump, fuel (or motor spirit as it was known) was distributed in two gallon fuel tins.
I'd estimate this image to date to the 1950s, and was originally published by AW Bourne (I did a search but can't find any current information on this company). Three different petrol pumps, complete with globes, are visible in this shot. Various blends of fuel were available in those days, proper leaded fuel with none of the additives that today's unleaded stuff is full of. The second pump along is for Esso Golden, and the third pump for Esso Extra. In the distance, to the right, is what looks like a small shop, with a set of scales outside to weigh yourself upon. Wall's ice creams were also available.
I doubt that this filling station is still in existence, so many characterful garage buildings have been lost to site re-development. A few survivors are featured in this section at oldclassiccar. If you have any photos of surviving garages from the 1960s or earlier, it'd be great to see them, likewise historic images such as the one shown here of buildings that have now gone, or perhaps been re-developed beyond recognition.
Return to the old transport photos - Page 5.