Wellieboot comes to Andover's villages.
7 Dec 2001
Sir George stands by one of the oil tanks to be filled up by "Wellieboot"
Wellieboot, - the company that features green wellies on the logo - is offering cheaper oil in fewer tankers to villagers who use oil for their central heating.
As managing director Chris Clark explained "If there are ten properties in a village each buying heating oil and it is all purchased and delivered on separate days, there will be ten separate visits to the village by an oil tanker.
All those individual visits jam the country roads and are not cost-effective."
Wellieboot has struck a deal with Yeovil based distributor Darch Fuels.
The group-buying scheme covers North Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset, and Wiltshire. Group-buys run every two weeks delivering oil to about three hundred villages. A top up scheme can be joined so those tanks are regularly filled up, at group-buy prices.
Mrs. Rowena Gale of Folly Cottage in Chute Cadley has had three deliveries. She says, "It makes sense to get together and save fuel. There's a gang of about 8 of us round here who get oil the same day. There are far too many lorries any way round here. The trouble is they degrade the road surface, and the potholes stay forever."

"On our first delivery we made a substantial saving. Our tank is not that accessible so the pipe has to find a hole through our yew hedge. The tank is hidden behind our thatch next to the herb patch, where we grow the thyme and mint. Sadly our village, which has 5 hamlets, does not have many services. There is a bus once a week to Andover, and a pub in Lower Chute.
However a shop next to the pub in Upper Chute was opened last year, and this new oil service is excellent."
There is an Internet website where orders can be placed, and customers can find out the date of the next delivery to their village. The next stage will be a village septic tank emptying scheme. Currently the company is running a competition in county newspapers, where the prize is 500 litres of oil, enough to guarantee a very warm cosy Christmas and New Year.
According to the latest Countryside Agency survey there is a growing lack of vital services to country areas. Most villages have no shop, a third of rural parishes still do not have a bus service and old style country pubs are facing extinction. Up to six rural pubs close every week.

As part of the company's promotional campaign, Sir George was asked to draw a name out of a gumboot, with the winner getting a free tank of oil. Peter Calderley, who lives in Amport, was the lucky man.





Sir George stands by one of the tanks to be filled by Wellieboot
Sir George stands by one of the tanks to be filled by Wellieboot
Click for a full size picture
Sir George congratulates Peter Calderley of Amport on winning the lucky draw
Sir George congratulates Peter Calderley of Amport on winning the lucky draw
Click for a full size picture
 
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