Gilmore Services Ltd was started in the 1950s by founder Sidney Gilmore. Sidney traded as Gilmore Fuels and from humble beginnings the business grew to the international company it is today.
Starting with one tanker providing motor, heating and lubricating oils around the Ards Peninsula, Co.Down, the company then grew to become one of the leading fuel distributors in Northern Ireland.
Sidney was offered the chance to expand the business to the Belfast area by his supplier Fina, from there Gilmores Fuels went from strength to strength. Employing more staff each year and adding different sized tankers to the fleet, the maintenance and servicing requirement increased which led to the need for larger premises.
In the 1970s they held an impressive fleet of ten tankers, making them leaders in a relatively new sector of the economy.
In 1975 it became necessary to expand once more which led to the purchase of the current site in Connsbrook Avenue, Belfast. This was initially a Workshop and Repairs facility but also housed Lock-Up Garages used by the locals who worked in the shipyard famous for the Titanic.
The business and its reputation grew quickly and led to Trading standards using it as a base to test the measures of not just Gilmore Fuels Tankers but also to test the other regional oil companies.
As the business grew Sidney invited his son, Matthew, to officially join the company. Matthew had been involved and present within the business from an early age and quickly showed an aptitude for the job which has paved the way for the success and diversification of the company today.
Matthew identified the opportunity to expand the business with the acquisition of Maine Tankers, a tanker servicing and manufacturing company that was based in County Antrim. This substantial engineering and fabrication business included twelve engineering staff and two employees joining the management offices.
They successfully manufactured market-leading road tankers for the Irish market. Typically it took 8 full weeks to mount a 13,000 Ltr barrel onto the contemporary DAF, Volvo or Scania Chassis. Sidney always said “Some other companies could build them faster, but no one builds them better.”
As a result of this quality, Maine Tankers produced a considerable amount of vehicles and subsequently repairs for the Northern Ireland and Irish Fuel industry. Many of the tankers are still in use today.
Maine Tankers customer portfolio included Dale Farm, United Dairy Farmers. The fleet of Milk Collection Tankers were covered with a full repair and maintenance contract including meter calibration.
Matthew created the Just Tankers brand in 2007. This modernised the business with a website to market new and used tankers for sale across the world, he understood the benefits from an online presence. This lead to the creation of JustTankersSpares.com, a business supplying parts to the wider fuel trade.
Matthew was eventually appointed as Managing Director of Maine Tankers, following his father’s retirement. He went on to launch the TruFlow pumping and metering system developed entirely in house with full MID Approval.
For the business to expand Matthew realised they had to create a presence in mainland UK. He contacted G Magyar, the leading Tanker Manufacturers in Europe. Matthew developed the relationship to distribute their products through a new concept “New Tankers Always in Stock” program.
Gilmore Services and Maine tankers businesses were eventually amalgamated. Gilmore Services Ltd began trading as Just Tankers. The first depot site in Great Britain was created, storing a range of readymade tankers for both UK, Ireland and export internationally. As well as the Belfast Head Office the depot was centrally located in Stratford Upon Avon providing easy access to major infrastructure throughout Great Britain.
The business diversified further entering the Aviation market, supplying several Aviation Refuellers for airside use.
Further growth led to a second site acquired in Sandbach, including offices and warehousing for parts distribution throughout the UK.
The New flagship site in Petersfield, Hampshire opened in January 2023 with extensive yard, showroom, workshop and offices. Operating from Petersfield the business provides PDI, Calibration, Tank and damage repairs, SLP and tank testing for customers in the South of England.
Over time the company has maintained a strong brand through reputation and embodying high standards throughout the many facets of the business.