Beaker people

peter bonetti

During the 60s and 70s, petrol stations started offering gifts when purchasing fuel; this was a relief for those into collecting memorabilia, but living somewhere where a vintage petrol pump might dominate the lounge.

The advantage being that 1970 World Cup coins were smaller than the actual pumps.

(I wrote about the advent of loyalty points last week at

There was an Esso garage on Balham High Road where my parents would fill up our Ford Poplar. I would as, a thirteen-year-old football fanatic, insist on visiting this garage; it was the only way we’d ever get Peter Bonetti into our flat!

As the years progressed (and you were prepared to queue for days during the 1973 oil crisis) you could collect glasses. I can only assume the principals at Standard Oil and British Petroleum believed that people in the UK, whilst owning cars, failed to possess a drinking receptible and were visiting tributaries of the Thames to drink water with their hands.

Soon many houses I visited had sets of glasses out of which you’d drink your squash; although always mildly tainted with the taste of four-star.

Some garages offered a dream, rather than faux cut-glass beakers, with the gratification of manifold sets of Green Shield Stamps; my parents would drive for miles looking for the biggest multiple.

Although, you’d easily swap several tigers in your tank for quintuple Green Shield Stamps.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s