Danielle Nicastri, 09 November 2015

LOOKING more like a scene from a 1950s film, ‘bowser boys’ are on hand to fill the petrol tanks of vehicles and carry out other general maintenance at a service station in Sydney’s north.

New customers who pull in to the Westleigh Service Centre look either alarmed or pleasantly surprised when the ‘bowser boys’ offer to fill their tanks and top up oil and water.

Half a dozen men share the roster as petrol pump attendants including 21-year-old Spencer Carrington who says some customers come in purposely for a chat with the friendly lads.

“Sometimes people from out of town are a bit shocked that people like this still exist,” he said.

“First they’re like ‘what are you doing? why are you opening my fuel pocket?’ when I say that I’m actually here to help them fill up their car with petrol.

“If they’re older they will say it’s like a blast from the past.

“I’ve worked at Maccas and hated it but with this there’s a bit of a personal connection with the people who come in.”

Store owner Chris Nacard said customers with mobility issues and older widows were particularly fond of the service.

“It seems to work well with the elderly and especially the widows who had their husbands doing all (car maintenance) so, when that changes, that’s when we step in,” he said.

In the 33 years he has owned the store Mr Nacard said it was an economical decision not to install modern pump facilities that transfer information from the petrol pump to the till.

“The connectivity to the till is not really worth it,” he said.

“There’s quite a few older people around here it is good for business and it seems to work

“Everyone has a bit of a faster pace life but not here at downtown Westleigh.

“I think that’s what people like and having that good rapport and relationships with the customers.”

Extracted in full from the Daily Telegraph.