Petrol sta­tion opens af­ter fire

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - IAN FRAZER

with all brands of mo­tor spir­its, oils, tyres, ac­ces­sories and an ex­pert elec­tri­cal, bat­tery and tyre ser­vice, Mr How­ill ad­vised.

On April 7, 1930, the Bul­letin re­ported Townsville fire brigade had the pre­vi­ous morn­ing ex­tin­guished a blaze dan­ger­ously close to a bowser at the fill­ing sta­tion on the north­ern cor­ner of Stokes and Sturt Sts.

“On ar­rival at the scene of the fire, which was Noel’s Fill­ing Sta­tion, at the cor­ner of Sturt and Stokes streets, it was found that the flex­i­ble feed pipe from the petrol bowser had caught alight and the es­cap­ing petrol was blaz­ing mer­rily.

“With the aid of two fire snow ex­tin­guish­ers, the fire was sup­pressed and the dan­ger over.

“In­quiries show that the cause of the out­break was some at­ten­dant fool­ishly strik­ing a match to ex­am­ine the gauge. Very lit­tle dam­age was done, and the bowser was op­er­at­ing as usual dur­ing Sun­day.’’

A public no­tice on May 17 an­nounced that un­der in­struc­tions from the mort­gagee, ten­ders were in­vited for the pur­chase of Noel’s Fill­ing Sta­tion on the cor­ner of Stokes and Sturt Sts. This led a fort­night later to the birth of Sturt Street’s sec­ond “Olympia’’, the first be­ing the Olympia Theatre, just across the road from Noel’s ill- fated en­ter­prise.

Townsville boasted be­tween 800 to 1000 reg­is­tered mo­tor cars in 1929, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the lo­cal branch of the Royal Au­to­mo­bile Club of Queens­land, pub­lished in the Bul­letin in Fe­bru­ary 1930.

Num­bers had in­creased steadily through the decade, from 224 li­censed mo­tor ve­hi­cles in 1921.

In Oc­to­ber 1930, the State La­bor MP for Kennedy, Harry Bruce, com­plained to Coun­try Pro­gres­sive Na­tional Party Premier Arthur Moore that fix­ing the re­tail price of petrol had boosted sales of tinned petrol at the ex­pense of ser­vice sta­tions.

Men who had put their money into petrol pumps and ser­vice sta­tions were fac­ing ruin and sales of Shel­lkol, con­tain­ing 15 per cent Queens­land- man­u­fac­tured power al­co­hol, had been se­ri­ously af­fected, Mr Bruce said.

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