After the Cold war Shell UK, owners of the Stanlow Refinery, continued to operate the site as a commercial fuel depot, supplying heating oil to homes and businesses throughout Cheshire and Staffordshire. Falling demand for oil in favour of natural gas resulted in Shell vacating the site which then ceased to be used as a commercial fuel depot. In the 1980’s the site was mothballed.
The former offices were let to a local business whilst the canteen became home to the local Scout Group who continued to use the building until the 2000s. In the late 1990’s David Giles joined the Scout Group as a leader. David worked for Shell International and at the time was oblivious to Shell’s connection with the site nor did he have any idea that the former canteen would soon become so important to his future plans.
2007 saw the sale of the former Twemlow Fuel Depot to Mr Ray Brown, a local farmer who envisaged building a biogas plant on the site in order to generate electricity from farm slurry. Asbestos was then discovered in the building and the Scout Group stopped using the old canteen, the Biogas project was refused planning approval and the site workshops, barn and grassed mounds reverted to agricultural use.
Ten years later, David and his wife Beverley were part of a team who built a new Scout Hut in the neighbouring village of Goostrey. Shortly after this David took advantage of an early retirement from his career with Shell and established a consultancy business. Suffering the distractions of previously working from home, David enthusiastically set out to find a small office a task that proved more difficult than he imagined!
David mentioned his dilemma to his friend Ray Brown who suggested a possible solution and, after meeting Ray and his wife Jill for a glass or more of encouragement the idea of The Old Fuel Depot was born!