Saturday, 14 August 2010
'Services, 10 miles...'
I'd been looking for this book everywhere. Hunting high and low in book shops, junk shops, internet forums, you name it. I'd actually given up hope, as I knew it had been a fairly limited run in the first place and I'd quite obviously missed the boat.
My good friend Ian Hodgson found this and put it in the post for me. I didn't even see it coming. To say that I felt elated when I opened the parcel and worked out what was inside, is a bit of an understatement. I still recall the sheer joy of seeing the cover as I took it from the envelope, so nonchalantly flopped on the doormat by the postman.
So… it's a history of the Motorway Service Station, exploring exotic places that exist in the hinterlands of the UK, for example Killington Lake, Tebay and Scratchwood. David Lawrence shows us rare vintage photos of these iconic stop-off points and delves into the history of how service stations came to be, the need for them, the purpose and the culture. Here are a few photos:
The services at Farthing Corner:
The 'Grill Room' at Scratchwood:
... and the very evocative interior at Southwaite:
The service station is another one of those things that The Advisory Circle just couldn't exist without. For me, they represented a mixture of a kind of strange, bleak cosiness (people not knowing each other, but holiday atmosphere, comfortable and stylish moulded seating, hot food and drinks) and excitement, because they were always a feature of family holidays and I wouldn't usually know exactly where we were going (because my dad had planned everything with precision). It's the feeling of being curled up on the back seat of the family car, listening to the hum of the engine, the patter of quiet parental conversation and some half-heard AOR song filtering through on the radio... then, peeling off the motorway and pulling into the services.
To this day, I still get that feeling when I enter a good service station en route to somewhere, for a coffee and a cake.
Association is a very powerful thing.
Posted by - Jb. at 20:49