Brian and Lily Adamson, owners of Adamsons Service Station in Featherston. PHOTOS/ARTHUR HAWKES

ARTHUR HAWKES
arthur.hawkes@age.co.nz

Owners Lily and Brian Adamson are delighted that Adamsons Service Station in Featherston took the second spot in a large national service station competition, run by Mobil.

The annual contest involved hundreds of dealer-owned service stations [those owned by private individuals, not directly by oil companies], and usually larger service stations, with highly diverse offerings, take the top spots.

Adamsons Service Station in Featherston.

The relatively small stature of Featherston’s popular service spot made the news extra special for the couple, as well as the wider Wairarapa community that supported them.

Brian, who retired from managing the station [which is 93 years old] a few years ago, described the process behind deciding the winner.

“They come around with a clipboard with about a thousand questions on, and they check everything: whether there’s dust on the tops, whether your pies are at the right temperature – a million and one things,” Brian said.

“And they used to send in mystery shoppers as well,” Lily said.

Brian’s grandfather built the station in 1927, then Brian’s father took over.

Brian joined the navy in his youth, and came later to join the family.

He and his brother, who had been working at the station since he finished school, had been brought up apart.

For the next 30 years, Brian and his wife Lily, a Geordie [from Newcastle, UK], ran the station, after first meeting in the navy.

“I was in the British navy and he was in the New Zealand navy, that’s how I met him, it was in Scotland,” Lily said.

Lily and Brian were keen to emphasise the role current manager Maria played in the station’s success.

“I knocked off a couple of years ago and put my manager in, Maria; she’s great.

“She does a marvellous job, especially right through covid when we were shut down, she had to be rigid with it.”