Scottish shale Scottish shale

Berwick oil depot

Former parish and county:
Parish of Berwick, County of Northumberland
Local authority:


  • Agreement between Scottish Oils Ltd and Duke of Northumberland over ground for depot at Berwick.11th June 1930. See 183530 page 120
  • The depot at North Terrace, Berwick on Tweed served south Berwickshire and north Northumberland. It was equipped with underground storage tanks fed from a discharge point at Berwick railway station.

  • Newspaper references


      We understand that negotiations for the establishment of large oil and petrol depot on the North Terrace Road and adjoining the Auction Mart have now been completed, and that, subject to the approval of the plans Berwick Town Council at their next meeting, work on the plant will start at once. The firm which is laying down the plant is the Scottish Oil Agency, Glasgow, which is the Scottish selling organisation of the Anglo- Persian Oil Co. Any uneasiness on the part of residents in the upper part of the town may definitely set rest for is the express purpose of the Company that rural amenities shall not be disturbed. The storage tanks will entirely underground, and will be fed by pipes from Berwick Station where the fuel arrives from the firm’s refineries at Grangemouth. The district covered will be South Berwickshire and North Northumberland, and all classes of fuel oils will available. The local representative is Mr J. W. Kidd, Osborne Road, Tweedmouth.

      The Berwick Advertiser, 20th February 1930



      TWENTY-FIVE years ago today, Mr John D. Shiel walked through the main gates of the Berwick Depot of the Scottish Oils Agency, Ltd., to begin work as depot boy. Now, as depot foreman for Scottish Oils and Siell Mex Ltd., he celebrates his semi jubilee with the firm. Mr Shiel, of 32 Valley View, Tweedmouth, is the only member left at the Berwick Depot who started when the premises were opened on October 20. 1930. And he made the rise from depot boy to foreman within the space of seven years.

      On Friday, he recalled his work when he started under Mr J. W. Kidd, a well-known Berwick man at the depot, the prototype of many similar centres throughout the country, but the first brick-built premises erected by the Scottish side of the firm. “There were cans to fill, hundreds of them every day, and cans to paint, There were things to check, too. The biggest tankers operating then from Berwick were those with solid tyres and capacity of 250 gallons, he said.

      BIGGER TANKERS “Today, the firm have tankers carrying 3,600 gallons at a time. Methods have changed, the output had gone up considerably, and while the premises were the latest thing when they were opened, they have been modernised since.” Mr Shiel was not depot boy for very long, and he was appointed to a role where, as relief, he was responsible for driving and storage among other things.

      On January 1, 1937, he became depot foreman, a position he has held ever since with the exception of his six years war service with the Royal Artillery. During that time he was in France, Belgium and Holland with the invasion armies. On his demobilisation, he returned to the Berwick depot on the North Road, and today he chalks up 25 years with the firm. Scottish Oils Agency, with whom he worked at first were amalgamated with Shell and B.P. in 1932. In his position as foreman, responsible for the operation a Depot where the staff are kept busy all the time. But don’t ask me to compare conditions at the depot today with what thev were like 25 years ago” he added. “The amount of petrol needed today makes that impossible !

      The Berwick Advertiser, 20th October 1955

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