An estimated 40’000 visited Coagh yesterday, including people from France, after the news broke that the local filling station had boldly SLASHED their diesel prices by 0.002p per litre. Queues were backed right up to Cookstown as drivers filled up anything they could to avail of the unexpected bargain at Henry’s Store on the Urbal Road. Declan Herbert, a retired gardener, took no time in stocking up on fuel:
“I got a text message from my neighbour and immediately thought someone must be dead. I couldn’t believe my eyes when he told me Henry’s had cut the clear stuff by 0.002p per litre. It was a dream come through. I threw the family into the back of the yoke and gave them all a barrel to look after. We must’ve taken 4000 litres back with us, spending the guts of £5000 but it was worth it. Christmas will be a bit bare this year in the house. There’ll definitely be no turkey but look at all that diesel. Now I just need to buy a diesel car and other dieselly stuff.”
Punters were dealt a slight blow though when paying for the bought diesel. At the till, they were informed of the small print which stated that for customers to avail of the 0.002p reduction, they had to purchase £20 at the hot food counter. Eyewitnesses confirmed reports that mini-riots broke out in the garage as families fought over cooked turkeys and Irish stew in order to reach the £20 quota. Shelf-stacker Gerry Turbett observed the scenes:
“There was carnage in there. People were in a bad mood already because they’d spent hundreds of pounds on diesel only to be told they needed to buy another £20 of meat. Tempers were frayed and I personally saw one woman battering another repeatedly on the ground with a leg of lamb. It was frightening. People were climbing over the counter and stuffing pork chops down their trousers etc before others got to them. Coagh was a quiet town and the only bad thing to happen here was when a fella was caught looking at his neighbour getting ready with a pair of binoculars, the dirty bastard. But, listen, you don’t turn your nose up at a 0.002p diesel sale. “
Henry McCracken released a statement yesterday thanking all customers for their purchases, claiming he’d sold £1.3m in diesel and £9000 in hot food during a 6-hour period yesterday. He added that you could buy two bottles of water for a pound today, as long as you also purchased 3 items from the hardware store.