35 years of pumping fuel comes to an end

Alan Turnbull (left) and Neville Bond, owners of BP 2Go Autoworld in Oamaru, 
Alan Turnbull (left) and Neville Bond, owners of BP 2Go Autoworld in Oamaru, have sold after 35 years in the business. PHOTO: SALLY RAE
Their customers used to pay with cash and cheques for tyres, lubes and petrol.

Now it was electronic transactions for coffee, pies and sandwiches at BP 2Go Autoworld in Oamaru’s South Hill.

Those were two of the main changes seen by Neville Bond and Alan Turnbull during their 35 years at the service station.

The pair have sold to NPD and today is their last day.

They would continue to operate a gas delivery and gas bottle filling service from the rear of the premises.

Both men previously worked for local businessman Gus Young; Mr Bond was based at Autoworld for about three years while Mr Turnbull left school at 16 to work at Mr Young’s other service station in Thames St, now BP 2Go Oamaru.

Mr Young sold both sites to BP and Mr Bond and Mr Turnbull teamed up in 1989, leasing the Autoworld site for three years and then buying it.

Mr Turnbull expected it would feel "a wee bit weird" today, given their lengthy tenure at the site, but change was inevitable.

The pair had prided themselves on their service and Mr Bond said they met "lots of nice people".

His wife Heather did much of the paperwork for the business.

The two men had alternate weeks starting at 6am — "to get the pies ready" — and 7am and both had their separate jobs, Mr Turnbull looking after the gas deliveries which covered an area from Moeraki to Duntroon to just north of Glenavy.

That was a busy part of the business and people would still be able to bring their barbecue gas bottles in to be filled; the pair would just be based "out the back paddock", as they referred to their base, and they would be working five days a week instead of seven.

One thing they would not miss was the drive-offs — people fuelling up and not paying.

"They just look at you — and drive off," Mr Bond said.