The Petrol Station Series 3: Beyond Balham

Thursday 27th February, the penultimate night started from Balham with it ending in Pimlico. I shot four petrol stations that evening in three different areas, a perfect way to almost close the series.

The first stop was Sainsbury’s Local on Nightingale Lane in Balham, a five minute walk from Clapham South Tube Station, where I came straight from home via Angel Station; not from Brixton this time round! This Sainsbury’s also has a small supermarket similar to Tesco Express and M&S Simply Food. The petrol station is close to Clapham Common, quite a big park in the middle of South London, also on the other side of the park is BP on North Side, where I went to a week before. Worth noting that I was originally meant to shoot both BP and Sainsbury’s on the same night, however my plans changed a couple weeks prior to make my journey easier.

Sainsbury’s Local – Nightingale Lane, Balham

Next stop was Shell on Balham Hill. I walked there from Sainbury’s, passed the Tube station and crossed the road. The petrol station is on the main high road and it was easy to find. This Shell has it all: a car wash on site, Costa Coffee, plus a Burger King with the drive thru starting from the side of the station next to the kiosk!

Shell – Balham Hill

Third stop was Applegreen in Eccles Court down Kennington, heading towards Vauxhall. I had taken a bus straight from Balham, then walked for a good ten minutes from Oval through a few backstreets. This was the third Applegreen I had shot, with the previous one of this series being in Camberwell, and the very first one in Streatham when I began the first series last summer. I don’t know if Applegreen is a ‘South London thing’ like Morley’s – both a department store and chicken shop (not all in one place!). I haven’t seen any anywhere else so far, including East or North London. This particular stop has a Gregg’s bakery which is inside, something I never seen before.

Applegreen – Eccles Court, Kennington Lane

Last petrol station of the night was BP on Vauxhall Bridge Road in Pimlico. I walked it there from Applegreen rather than take a bus, a straight twenty minute walk on Vauxhall Bridge heading towards Victoria. This stop is quite unique in terms of design: there are residential apartments above, even some surrounding. This BP has a typical petrol station layout despite it missing a roof which would have been impossible to do due to the apartments and planning.

BP – Vauxhall Bridge Road, Pimlico

My night ended there, so it was time to get back home by Tube. Took less than an hour, thank goodness as it was getting late and a little bit cold.

The series would finally wrap up the next day, on the last day of the month. A perfect way to bow out after all this hard work for the last few weeks.

Take care and stay safe

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