New 24-hour service comes to the rescue
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A NEW 24-hour petrol service in the upper dale came to the rescue of a desperate grandfather and a poorly child on the same day it opened.
People in upper Teesdale did not have access to petrol after hours or on Sundays until the new facility was made available at Mickleton Service Station last week.
As it turned out it was needed on the very day the bank card reading pumps came online.
Owner David Hutchinson said: “On the first night we were 24-hours we had someone come in who had to go to hospital because his grandchild was sick and he didn’t think he had fuel to get to Barnard Castle.”
Along with the installation of the new service, the station’s forecourt and shop have undergone a completed refurbishment worth about £40,000.
About half of the cost was carried by the owner, while £20,000 came through a business development grant through Durham County Council.
The refurbishment includes a total re-brand with new signage, complete new underground pipes and cabling and the installation of completely refurbish fuel pumps.
It has been several years since the upper dale last had access to petrol after hours.
Mr Hutchinson said: “We were 24-hours when we first opened in 1972. We had a pump that took 50p. I remember at that time petrol was 33p a gallon, so your 50p got you seven or eight litres.”
Demand was such that between £40 and £50 worth of petrol was collected from the pump on a Monday morning.
The owner said: “With the petrol price rise it just wasn’t worth doing [the 50p pump] anymore.”
Also new to the station are sensor activated LED lights which remain on until 10pm, then turn off and will only be activated if a vehicle drives up onto the forecourt.
Mr Hutchinson said: “There is also a new emergency cabinet and extra CCTV cameras. And we’ve had the new branding pole sign done.”