Village says ‘thank you’ to local couple

John and Rita Strang
John and Rita Strang

A couple who have run the petrol station in a Deeside village for more than 60 years have called it a day.

John and Rita Strang have been familiar and friendly faces at the filling station in Kincardine O’Neil since 1956.

A special tea party was held in the local hall

A special tea party was held in the local hall

But they have decided bring an end to their sterling service and the community has bid them a well-earned retirement.

A special tea party was recently organised by Kincardine O’Neil Community Association in the village hall attended by more than 130 family and friends.

The couple were presented with a cheque - the proceeds of a retirement collection contributed to by customers from far and wide.

Community Association chairman Bill Sutherland said: “The number of people who contributed to the collection and who came to the party both clearly reflect the great affection and esteem that Rita and John are held in by the community, their customers both local and along the Dee Valley.

“We greatly appreciate the service and dedication that they have provided over the past 62 years - it is the end of an era which I doubt we will ever see again.”

When the couple took over the petrol station it was in the centre of the village and had two pumps which dispensed five different fuels.

In the early days, half the shop was given over to bicycle sales and repairs. New safety regulations forced a move to the current site on the west side of the village in 1973.

John and Rita also had a haulage or “floats” operation and over the years built up both businesses.

Amazingly, over 62 years they just had ten days’ holiday together and only closed for Christmas and New Year’s Day – and even then they were known to open up for last-minute customers.

John and Rita have also been ardent supporters of many community activities, giving contributions towards village events.

The haulage business is continuing under son, David.