Shell-Mex and BP Ltd (SMBP) commences trading following the merger of the oil marketing and distribution operations of Shell and BP in the British Isles.
The Head Office of SMBP is established in Shell-Mex House, a newly built office in The Strand, London opened on 25th January 1933 by Walter Runciman, President of the Board of Trade.
At the outbreak of War SMBP and the other distributors of petroleum products in the UK were absorbed into the "Petroleum Board" which was located in Shell-Mex House. SMBP employees played a key role in keeping both the military and the home front supplied.
On 1st July the "Petroleum Board" was disbanded and private companies started trading again but only with "pool" petrol!
On 26th May rationing finally ended and proper branded marketing recommenced.
The company operated through ten divisions in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Ipswich, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Belfast & Glasgow.
On 30th September SMBP
opens a Training Centre at
The Node in Hertfordshire.
The beginning of a programme introducing new larger depots with the opening of Pickering.
By 1959 the operations network had been reduced from 439 depots to 93. "Authorised Distributors" were developed to handle small drop fuels and lubricants in the Agricultural market.
Retail dealers were offered 20 year contracts in preparation for the introduction of "Solus" the following year.
The launch of the "Mrs 1970" campaign – the offer of oil-fired central heating to domestic premises.
A Computer Centre is opened in Hemel Hempstead, to be followed a year later, by another in Wythenshawe.
The Board of SMBP consented to the separation of the company following secret studies over two years involving Shell, BP and SMBP personnel. "Brand Separation" was, at the time, the largest demerger carried out in the commercial world.
Brand Separation is completed with the commencement of trading of two companies – Shell UK Oil and BP Oil on 1st January 1976.