It was Saturday 22nd February, the fourth day of shooting the Petrol Station Series. That night I was in Croydon, however I would return back there twice the following week. Yes, there were so many petrol stations in Croydon that it was impossible to shoot them all in one night.
My first stop was Jet on Croydon Road, where there is a used car dealership next door. I was in Brixton for a darkroom session earlier that day and didn’t leave until 6pm. Originally I had considered taking the bus from there to Croydon, but the journey would have taken over an hour. Instead I took the Overground from Brixton to Penge East, then a ten minute walk to Jet. The train journey was half the duration than the bus.
Afterwards, I went to Tesco on Croydon Road in Beckenham. Despite it being on the same road as Jet, I took the bus there. Tesco was situated nearby the superstore on an industrial estate off the roundabout. Just to note, Beckenham borders Croydon and is quite close by, despite it not being in the same borough.
Moving on swiftly was BP on Mitcham Road. I went back to Croydon proper, which was a bus ride away from the previous stop. Opposite this BP there is a Kwik Fit, a car repairs shop, and across the road there is a used car dealership called McCarthy Cars Croydon.
The next stop was Esso on Purley Way. There are two on the same road, although I only shot one and had only discovered while researching for the series. According to Google this Esso is also known as ‘MFG Waddon Court’. MFG or Motor Fuel Group describes themselves as being ‘the largest independent forecourt operator in the UK’ on their website, where they operate many stations across the country such as BP, Shell, Esso and Jet, only to name a few.
The next stop was Sainsbury’s in Drury Crescent. This time this petrol station was right next to the superstore, where I went to buy a couple of Nakd bars and a drink. I needed some energy while on the road, especially when I last ate a few hours ago. Sainsbury’s is located in a huge retail park with surrounding shops like TK Maxx, Homesense and Hobbycraft.
I went to Asda in Wallington afterwards, which I walked there through a pathway. Mind you it was pitch black and I was careful not to trip over or get lost enroute. The station is next to the superstore, plus like many of them, this Asda is self-service where card payments are only accepted. This stop is also very close to the famous Ikea in Croydon which is a fifteen minute walk through the retail park.
The final stop of the night was BP on Beddington Lane, literally across the road from Asda which I had no problem finding. This BP not only has their shop with a Costa Coffee, it also has a MOT repairs and a small car wash on the premises.
My time had almost concluded at another Esso (also a MFG chain) on Brighton Road in Croydon, sadly my phone battery went flat and I couldn’t get my Google Maps route there. So I had no choice to derail my plans and make my way to the nearest train station that would take me home. I would soon revisit Croydon in the next week, including the petrol station mentioned and others. I was already half way through shooting the series and was positive to get it completed sooner rather than later.
Take care and stay safe