Quality service will be missed as brothers call it a day at Station Garage in Docking
- Credit: Ian Burt
Customers once compared the quality service at Station Garage in Docking to that shown in the Heartbeat TV series, which was set in the 1960s.
Brothers Roger and Steven Lowe would fill up customers' petrol tanks and provide the kind of friendly service that has mostly disappeared.
Their popularity was in spite of the garage selling what was reputed to be the most expensive petrol in the county.
Roger, who is 65 today, and Steven, 66, have run the garage since 1991. They have not sold petrol for about nine years, but customers have stayed loyal and they have managed to survive carrying out, mostly servicing and MOTs.
But they are both retiring, with today the final day of trading.
Roger Lowe said: 'I have had enough of the stress of the job. It consumes your whole life and it's not getting any easier to run a small business. I am also looking forward to spending more time with my family.'
The garage site was built in 1955 and he added: 'It was a garage of sorts when we took it on. Steven had a garage repair business in his garden for 10 years before that, and I had been in the garage trade.'
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Building up the petrol business was slow work, he said. 'The first week our petrol sales were just £80. But when we packed up selling petrol in 2009, we were doing £7,000 sales in 10 days. Customers used to say it was like the TV show Heartbeat, because we served them.
'We both enjoyed meeting people on the forecourt. We have had very loyal customers.'
One customer, Marion Mardall, said: 'The brothers have provided a wonderful service to the residents of Docking and surrounding villages. They always try to undertake work as soon as a problem is identified and in a very friendly and reliable way of working.'
The garage employs two other members of staff. Jamie Ireson, who has worked there for 17 years, is setting up his own mobile mechanic business, J and S Motors while Matthew Nelson is looking for a change of career. The site will be demolished to make way for new houses. Roger's son, Michael, will live in one and Steven in another.
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