You don't see many of these hump-backed dispensers around much either. For those unfamiliar with their use, a garage proprietor would grab those two handles at the top and let down the shutter with the classic logo emblazoned on it. He probably did this first thing in the morning, closing it at night after the last Morris Oxford had left the forecourt. Having checked your dipstick with a greasy rag, if necessary he would pump oil up from a drum held in the cupboard underneath, straight into either a green metal quart, pint or half pint pouring jug, again with the evocative logo on the side. It was all about personal service for your motor car, rather than having a vapid youth sell you wilting flowers in stifling cellophane to leave at a road accident. I say all this because I have sourced these jugs, which are still made to the exact same specification. The thought occurs that they would make superb gravy boats, although the quart one I might put to one side until I can dispense Pimms from it at my first garden party of the summer. I photographed this dispenser somewhere in remote east Leicestershire sometime in the seventies, although by now it's bound to be the centrepiece in a singles bar called The Garage, working hard as a vodka luge no doubt.
Derek Birdsall: Birdseye view
2 days ago