History and mystery about Sturt St servo

Updated November 2 2012 - 4:04pm, first published March 24 2011 - 2:01pm
History and mystery about Sturt St servo
History and mystery about Sturt St servo

THE HISTORY behind the former Batt & Lyons Service Station remains a mystery to many.Even to Black Hill resident Jennifer Taite, whose family is closely connected to the store, the background of the service station is unknown.Mrs Taite’s great uncle, Frederick Batt, co-owned the service station while her father, Norman Jackson, worked there as an apprentice mechanic.“I don’t know when he (Frederick) started it up,” Mrs Taite said.“But if my Dad was working there, it would have been some time in the early 1900s.”Mrs Taite said it was a shame the community had so little knowledge about the building.“It is so sad that this kind of thing doesn’t get documented and it’s up to relatives of relatives who come in to try and find out as much as they can,” she said.“It would have been such a hub, just like a general store. “You would get your petrol and your news. Everybody would know everybody.”The old service station on the corner of Sturt and Raglan streets was hidden for many years.The brick building was recently uncovered, showing red and yellow paint and the Batt & Lyons Service Station name.Until a few weeks ago it was the Wes Davidson Real Estate office. Previously it was the Big Red Hen chicken restaurant. Mrs Taite said her family hoped the original facade would be incorporated into the building’s redevelopment.“It is so nice when you see old names on the buildings as you drive down Sturt Street,” she said.“I was so excited and very emotional when it was uncovered because as a child I had never seen it, it has always been covered up.“I think it is just gorgeous.”The building, at 701 Sturt Street, is not considered to contribute to the current heritage overlay and is not listed on the National Trusts of Australia.

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