Philip Guest at his petrol station at Sourton Cross
The petrol station at Sourton Cross was built in 1929 by William Baker. At 979.9 feet above sea-level, it was the highest point on the A30. It was also at a crucial junction where roads met from Exeter, Launceston, Bude and Tavistock. Philip Guest and his family lived just 50 yards away in what is now the Bottleneck Inn where he ran a small-holding. He was also the key-holder to the petrol station, and on occasions would be woken during the night to supply petrol to passing traffic. When William Baker died after only 6 months at the petrol station, Philip Guest was offered the first option to buy the petrol station. This was a good business opportunity for him as he was disabled, having lost the use of his left arm. Charlie Guest bought the petrol station from his father in 1962, and it was much developed and expanded until it closed in 1985 to make way for the Okehampton by-pass. This was a relief for the Guest family as it followed 7 years of indecision while the Okehampton by-pass was hotly debated.