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Destination Crossroads: The Motel

 

The happy life of the Richardson family – Meg, Charles and their children Jill and Sandy was ripped apart in 1961 when Charles sadly died. With no income, and the prospect of a motorway being built through their land, Meg decided to convert her large family home into a motel – which duly opened in April… Or at least that’s how the story goes.

 

This page will attempt to detail the various locations used on screen to represent the Crossroads Motel. This is by no means exhaustive, and research is always ongoing. It is known that several other motels have claimed to be the inspiration and location of the motel over the years. If you have any images or information about these buildings then it would be gratefully received. Please contact us by emailing the address at the top of this page HERE.

 

 

Inspiration – The Longshoot Motel – Nuneaton CV11 6JH

 

On the A5, just outside Nuneaton is the Longshoot Hotel. Since the early 1960’s the buildings have been modernised – with an additional floor added to the chalet blocks, but the area is still very recognisable – with a glorious retro feel to them…

 

When designing the original sets for the show in 1964, Elizabeth Dorrity and Rex Spencer took a close look at the Longshoot Motel near Nuneaton, Warwickshire. It gave them several ideas which were incorporated into the designs.

 

 

Just like Crossroads – the motel was built alongside a large house.

The chalet blocks are in an early 1960’s style

They now have an additional floor added

This screen capture from the late 1970’s shows that the Longshoot was still influencing design

Up until recently the doors were still painted orange – but the hotel has recently had a facelift.

This recent image from Google shows the different coloured brick of the second floor!

An early appearance for a back-cloth inspired by the chalet block at the Longshoot Motel (1966)

The chalets seen from a similar angle in 2010…

…and in this classic photo – recently shared with the Crossroads Appreciation Society.

 

1964 – 1981: The Original  Motel – Walford College – Baschurch  SY4 2HL

 

On the B5067, you can find what is now known as the Walford Campus of the North Shropshire College. In the early 1960’s it was known as The Shropshire Farm Institute and it featured in several regional news programmes for ATV. The location clearly stuck in the mind of the team – as it seems a perfect fit for the requirements of the story.

 

Perhaps the most famous of all the motel locations – this scene was used until November 1981.

The building is now used as a computer room for the college. The raised area is a dining room.

The college features 1960’s buildings attached to a Georgian mansion – just like the storyline!

Noele Gordon and Reg Watson on location at the college.

Noele and Roger celebrate 1500 episodes of Crossroads in 1971…

…The location in 2010 – the building has changed little since the 1970’s… Fortunately!

The back of the block – note the chimney…

…which appears on this backcloth with the legend “Crossroasds Motel” painted on it!

This undated photo shows the (now demolished) teaching block to the left of the main building.

 

1981 – 1984: The New  Motel – Golden Valley Hotel – Cheltenham  SY4 2HL

 

Following the now infamous fire of 1981, in which the reception area was destroyed, the motel was rebuilt in a more “modern” style. The location chosen was the “Golden Valley Hotel” in Cheltenham. Initially the producers simply covered the actual sign with a “Crossroads” one – until it was discovered that the logo being used by the programme actually belonged to the hotel. It was seen as undue advertising and the sets were subtly changed. Now a “Jurys Inn”.

 

The hotel is seen here with Crossroads branding, and until recently the tiled canopy looked like this…

..more recently the tiles have been replaced – although the hotel looks much the same.

This publicity photo shows “Crossroads Motel” branding on the roof of the building!

It featured in lots of publicity images – this one features Jane Rossington and Ronnie Allen.

It also featured in static opening captions…

…and even location shooting.

 

1985 - 1988: The Final “Classic”  Motel – Penns Hall Hotel – Sutton Coldfield  B76 1LH

 

The final location chosen to represent the Crossroads Motel (later the Kings Oak Country Hotel) was Penns Hall Hotel in Sutton Coldfield. In fact, the hotel had already appeared in the series a few months before… but nobody seemed to mind.

 

Presenting an altogether more upmarket feel to the hotel, this was actually not the real entrance…

…Central TV used a side entrance to what is now known as the Dorchester Suite.

The hotel even featured in the new opening titles for the show…

…and in the credits too. Here is the lake – a feature of the series since the early years.

In 2014 Tony Adams and Jane Rossington returned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Crossroads.

Today the canopy has had a bit of a facelift, but is still recognisable.

 

2001: The New Series Hotel – Carlton Studios – Nottingham  NG7 2NA

 

When the series returned in 2001, Carlton Television decided it would make sense to have an exterior location much closer to hand – and therefore went to the expense of building their own hotel entrance at the rear of the studio complex on Lenton Lane. In 2005 the studios were closed, and the building is now owned by the University of Nottingham – It is now known as the Kings Meadow Campus.

 

The proximity of the exterior meant that it was much less expensive to mount location shooting…

…even if it did take a bit of work to transform an unused area into a 4 star hotel!

Today the area looks very similar – albeit without the entrance canopy.