'Unbelievably shocked': Norfolk garage team named best in country

Abbeygate group forecourt manager of Wymondham Leslie Patmore receiving the award from Strictly Come Dancing's Anton du Beke.

Abbeygate group forecourt manager Leslie Patmore receiving the award from Strictly Come Dancing's Anton Du Beke. - Credit: Leslie Patmore

In the midst of a fuel crisis a forecourt team at a Norfolk garage have been named the best in the country. 

The team at Abbeygate Garage in Norwich Road was awarded Best Forecourt Team at the national Forecourt Traders Awards 2021.

The awards have been celebrating the best and the brightest in the forecourt industry for the last 20 years.

Leslie Patmore, the forecourt manager for the Abbeygate Group, said: "We had never been nominated for the award before so when we were we thought it was an amazing thing, then we got shortlisted and then on the night itself we won.

"We were so unbelievably shocked."

Mrs Patmore attended the awards in London where she was given the accolade by Strictly Come Dancing judge Anton Du Beke, beating out garages in Wiltshire and Belfast.

Abbeygate Garage in London Road, Wymondham, Norfolk.

Abbeygate Garage in London Road, Wymondham. - Credit: Google

She said: "Our team was awarded mainly because our forecourt has improved over the years but our team, most of whom have worked with us for 10 plus years, have always been looked upon as being a great customer service team.

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"We are like one big happy family and it was quite a boost for the team during a tough time."

The station was affected by the fuel shortages as most were around the country but found ways to stay open.

Mrs Patmore: "I think every station in Norfolk has been hit because of the panic-buying but we haven’t had to limit the volume of fuel drivers could buy from us. 

"We reduced our selling hours instead, so a majority of the time we had fuel to sell, even though we may not have been open for the full day as normal."

Abbeygate was one of two Norfolk garages to take home an award from the national celebration.

Harleston Service Station in London Road took home the award for Best Midlands Site Over 4mlpa out of three finalists from the East and Midlands.