Esso is the brand used by ExxonMobil, derived from its previous name, Standard Oil. Esso filling stations allow customers to gain Nectar points when they fill up with fuel or purchase a shop item.
They are known for advertising campaigns including "Bom, Bom, Esso Blue" and "put a tiger in your tank". Evidence of tiger-branding can still be found at some of their garages.
Esso ceased trading in Northern Ireland, with many garages becoming Maxol. In the Republic, many Esso garages became Topaz.
In Britain, Esso were the first company to sell unleaded fuel.
As A Motorway Operator
Full details: Taverna
In the early 1960s, Esso had refused to become the operator of any motorway service areas. They then put in a surprise ambitious bid for Heston, which was rejected on the assumption they weren't really interested.
Worried that they would lose Port petrol station to the new motorway, Esso agreed to run it as a motorway service area, and developed the brand name Taverna under which to do it. Taverna went on to build several new services, but then they sold them in 1973.
In the 1990s, service stations were de-regulated. With a new-found interest, Esso applied to build a number of new services. They would usually outsource the main facilities to an established operator such as Granada, as they did at Thurrock and Magor. Many of Esso's applications made at this time were unsuccessful, so we don't know how the operation would have worked. Examples of those include Stumps Cross and Duxford, Longbridge, Lower Kingswood, Meon and Swinford.
Esso Motor Hotel
Separate to Taverna, in 1963 Esso opened their first Esso Motor Hotel in Sweden in 1963. This chain came to Britain in 1966, but it remained functionally separate from Esso's petrol stations and motorway services. The hotels were positioned in urban areas and aimed at businessmen.
In 1972 Esso needed to raise funds, so they leased most of the hotels to Crest Hotels, ending the Esso Motor Hotel name in the UK.
Full details: Mobil
In 1998, Mobil merged with Esso to form ExxonMobil. The Mobil brand could be found at many services (including several which they owned outright). Following the merger, BP acquired all of Mobil's former petrol stations.
Like the other major forecourt operators, Esso owned and operated several filling stations, which were all sold off by the Autumn of 2015. These 450 stations were operated under the name ROC.
ROC garages were sold to Euro Garages, MRH and Rontec. The stores were previously branded as either On the Run or Snack and Shop. On the Run, which was the branding for the larger stores, usually included a Costa and a seating area. Snack and Shop was the branding for the smaller stores, and each store was essentially a kiosk which sold a few necessities and either Kenco, Coffee Nation or Costa Express.
Former ROC locations
The motorway filling stations that were operated by ROC included:
- Blyth (A1(M)) - former Snack and Shop, now operated by Euro Garages.
- Cardiff West (M4) - former On the Run, now operated by Rontec.
- Cherwell Valley (M40) - former Snack and Shop, now operated by Euro Garages.
- Ferrybridge (M62) - former Snack and Shop, now operated by Moto.
- Frankley (M5) - former Snack and Shop, now operated by Moto.
- Magor (M4) - former On the Run, now operated by Rontec.
- Maidstone (M20) - former Snack and Shop, now operated by MFG.
- Rownhams (M27) - former Snack and Shop, now operated by BP.
- Sandbach (M6) - former Snack and Shop, then operated by Roadchef and now operated by BP.
- Stafford (South) (M6) - former Snack and Shop, now operated by Euro Garages.
- Tamworth (M42) - former Snack and Shop, now operated by Euro Garages.
- Trowell (M1) - former Snack and Shop, now operated by Moto.
- Blyth (A1(M)/A1)
- Cardiff West (M4)
- Carnforth truckstop (M6/A601(M))
- Cherwell Valley (M40/A43)
- Eurotunnel UK Terminal (M20)
- Gloucester (M5) (southbound only)
- Magor (M4)
- Maidstone (M20)
- Pont Abraham (M4)
- Ross Spur (M50/A449/A40)
- Scotch Corner (A1(M)/A66)
- Stafford (M6) (southbound only)
- Tamworth (M42/A5)
- Tebay (M6)
- Thurrock (M25/A13/A282)
- Ashby de la Zouch (A42)
- Bangor (A55)
- Barton Mills (A11) (southbound only)
- Barton Stacey (A303) (westbound only)
- Beal (A1)
- Bicester (A41)
- Bickenhill (A45) (eastbound only)
- Bicker Bar (A52)
- Bloody Oaks (A1) (northbound only)
- Bodmin Moor (A30) (westbound only)
- Bolney (A23) (northbound only)
- Browns Blue (A511) (eastbound only)
- Broxden (M90/A9)
- Calcutt (A419) (northbound only)
- Canley Ford (A45) (eastbound only)
- Carcroft (A1) (northbound only)
- Chiverton Cross & Three Burrows (A30)
- Cobham (A2) (westbound only)
- Colsterworth (A1) (southbound only)
- Deanshanger (A422)
- Ecton (A45)
- Eye (A15)
- Eye Green (A47)
- Eynsham (A40) (eastbound only)
- Feering (A12) (northbound only)
- Foston (A1) (northbound only)
- Gate (A2)
- Gowy (A51)
- Hartlebury (A449)
- Hogs Back (A31) (eastbound only)
- Kimnel Park (A55)
- Lomondgate (A82)
- Mile End (A5)
- Millisons Wood (A45) (westbound only)
- Milton (A82) (westbound only)
- Monmouth (A40)
- Newark (A17/A46) (eastbound only)
- Northside (A49)
- Nunney Catch (A361)
- Penlan (A30) (eastbound only)
- Podimore (A303)
- Popham (A303) (eastbound only)
- Rheged (A66)
- Rhostyllen (A483)
- Ringwood (A31) (westbound only)
- Ross Spur (A449) (south-westbound only)
- Rothwell (A14) (eastbound only)
- Ruabon (A483)
- Rufus Stone (A31/A35) (westbound only)
- Seaton Burn (A1/A19)
- Sedgefield (A689)
- Sparkford (A303)
- Sheffield Parkway (A57)
- Shefford (A507)
- Shrewsbury (A5)
- Spur End (A3060)
- St Kew (A39)
- Stockbridge (A27)
- Stonecross (A10)
- Thame (A418)
- Warmington (A605)
- Whiddon Down (A30)
- Whitchurch (A41)
- Willoughby Hedge (A303) (westbound only)
- Winning Post (A38)
Esso no longer operates at the following services:
- Birch (M62)
- Caldo Windle (A580)
- Cohannon (M1 Northern Ireland)
- Chippenham (A350)
- Doddington (A46)
- Exeter (M5)
- Ferrybridge (M62/A1)
- Frankley (M5)
- Hardwicke (A38)
- Hilton Park (M6)
- Ingleby Arncliffe (A19)
- Kill (N7)
- Kilmington Cross (A35)
- Kinross (M90)
- Knutsford (M6)
- Lancaster (M6)
- Leigh Delamere (M4)
- Musselburgh (A1)
- Nesscliffe (A5)
- Pevensey (A27)
- Ram Jam (A1)
- Rownhams (M27)
- Sedgemoor southbound (M5)
- Severn View (M4/M48)
- Skewen (A465)
- Sleaford (A17)
- Southwaite (M6)
- Stirling (M9/M80)
- Thorpe on the Hill (A46)
- Trowell (M1)
- Warminster (A36/A350)
- Washington (A1(M))
- Woolley Edge (M1)
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