Raynor’s Service Station is pumped up for anniversary
One of Southampton’s oldest family businesses took a leaf out of the Beatles songbook this week – when it turned 64.
Gas station owner Reginald Raynor Jr is counting down to the big celebration in one year’s time.
But this Thursday took Mr Raynor back to November 10, 1958, when he was four years old and Raynor’s Service Station opened for business.
He was playing in the yard next to the station with his mother, Lucetta Adams-Raynor, while his father, Reginald Steede Raynor, working in the forecourt.
“I remember it just like yesterday,” Mr Raynor said. “For me, the memory shows the love and vision my parents had for their children.”
It took a court battle to get the station running: he recalled his father applying to open, only to get passed over when another business nearby put in their application.
Segregation and the racial dynamics of the time played a part, he said.
“My father applied to the legal fraternity for help, and had Edward Richards as his attorney.
“He later became Sir Edward, and the first Premier of Bermuda.
“There is a lot of history there – it was quite a mammoth case at the time.”
He added: “My father and mother didn’t give up. They stayed it out and fought it – and they won.
“Today, that’s why the business is still operating.”
At 68, Mr Raynor is the youngest of the brothers who worked at the station over the years: Sheridan, Lloyd, Carl and Lee Raynor.
“They all put their hands to the business, which is something to be complimented. The family stuck together.
“We’re very family oriented. Over the years we have seen many customers, got to know their children and then their children’s children. It’s been a pleasing experience, dealing with the various generations.”
Once a Shell and now a Rubis, the business remains on Middle Road just west of Heron Bay.
Added Mr Raynor: “The longevity of the business comes from our faith in God, from my parents and myself, along with the overall blessing of the Lord.”