© Crossroads Fan Club
A Sign of the Motel Times. Crossroads   was   one   of   the   few   soap   operas   to   mainly   concentrate   its   action   on   one   location   -   a   motel   -   and   in   so   doing   it   had   a   chance   to   provide   a more   consistent   form   of   branding   across   the   whole   programme,   which   wasn't   so   easy   to   do   in   other   serials.   From   the   opening   titles    down   to   the   name badges over the years Crossroads branded not only the programme the same, but also the motel too. A case of fact blurring into fiction...
Motel Branding
The   original   motel   sign   didn’t   include   a   bar open   to   non-residents   as   the   storyline   saw Meg   without   a   liquor   licence   for   the   first   few weeks. The    more    famous    ‘red    and    white’    motel signage   arrived   later   once   the   bar   and   other amenities were fully opened at the motel. The    typeface    used    is    part    of    the    Franklin Gothic family.
Exteriors and Signs The original Motel was designed in 1961 and began construction later that year. The complex opened in April 1963. Crossroads   Motel   opened   in   the   grounds   of   the   Richardson   family   home   after   the   death   of   Charles,   husband   of   Meg   and father   to   Sandy   and   Jill.   A   motorway   had   been   built   over   part   of   the   family   land   and   with   the   compensation   money   the new    accommodation    area    was    added    onto    the    mansion    house.    The    original    motel comprised   of   only   sixteen   chalets.   These   all   came   with   their   own   garage   to   park   the travellers car. As   with   all   serials   at   that   time   the   majority   of   the   ‘exteriors’   for   this   period   were   actually   inside   the   TV   studios,   as some   of   the   photos   we   have   been   able   to   source   show.   The   outside   shots   were   recorded   at   Walford   Hall   in   Baschurch, Shropshire, for the main motel frontage and house, with chalet shots recorded at the Longshoot Motel in Nuneaton. Crossroads Motel Establishing Shots We   expect   the   ‘red   and   white’   signage   is   the   most   remembered   -   which   although   looks   like   its   made   of   wood,   is actually    mainly    made    of    metal    -    and    was    bought    by    Kathleen    Hudson    for    the Crossroads Appreciation   Society   in   1988.   It   is   a   reworking   of   the   original   1964   signage which   didn’t   note   any   of   the   amenities   at   the   Crossroads   Motel   other   than   the   car park   and   the   reception.   The   storyline   later   allowed   for   a   public   bar   and   restaurant. The   original   version   of   the   sign   was   Black   and   gray,   which   matched   other   motel   signs around the grounds. This   sign   was   the   longest   lasting,   including   its   early   1965   revamp,   running   from   1964   to   1981.   It   often   would   feature   in the   opening   scene   of   an   episode,   and   it   was   also   on   the   drawing   of   the   motel   which   was   pinned   on   the   reception   area notice board. Pictured   above   left:   One   of   the   original   ‘motel’   signs   on   the   exterior   building   at   Walford   Hall,   Shropshire,   can   just   be   seen   in   the background. Actress Alex   Marshall   as   waitress   Christine   Fuller   features.   Right:   the   same   sign   is   used   in   the Aston   Studio’s   set   of   the Crossroads Motel foyer with Vincent Ball and Susan Hanson as Kevin McArthur and Diane Lawton. Uniforms To   begin   with   the   programme   look   did   not   correspond   to   the   look   of   the   Crossroads   Motel.   The   logos   for   the   'complex'   had   a   totally   different   style   to the soap opera branding. The uniforms changed quite often, especially the female staff, however some badges were long lasting…
The rebuilt Motel 1968 Disaster   struck   the   Crossroads   Motel   when   a   wartime   bomb   blew   the   reception   area,   kitchen   and   offices   to   bits   in   the   summer   of   ‘67.   The   WWII explosive   had   been   left   undiscovered   for   nearly   20   years   when   workmen   unearthed   it   while   extending   the   motel   accommodation.   The   area   was evacuated,   however   a   digger   broke   free,   rolled   over   the   bomb   and   set   it   off.   Cook   Betty   Cornett   (Sheila   Keith)   was   killed   while   secretary   Julie Shepherd (Jean Rogers) was trapped under the reception desk. After   the   rebuilding   work   was   complete   the   new   look   Crossroads   Motel   took   on   a   more   traditional   style.   The   modern   1960s   fittings   and   fixtures   of   the original motel gave way to a more “old fashioned” style in keeping with the Georgian House that the motel was attached to. The Blue Motel Sign Not   as   "famous"   as   the   red   motel   sign,   which   is   strange   -   as   it   was   seen   far   more   often!   This   was   situated   directly   outside   the   motel   entrance   in   the reception   set.   It   arrived   in   1968   with   the   new   foyer   set   and   was   replaced   circa   1978   with   a   slightly   updated   version   which   kept   the   same   layout   and colours. The new version had merely only a slightly different typeface. The latter was burned to ashes in 1981.
LEFT: The   ‘famous’   red   and   white   Crossroads   Motel sign   often   seen   at   the   start   of   episodes   from 1965 to 1981. While   many   scenes   were   shot   at   Walford   Hall over   the   years,   sadly   only   one   short   film   clip of the sign at the exterior location survives. RIGHT: The two versions of the Crossroads Motel sign as seen in the foyer set of the programme from 1968 to 1981.
The Decade of Motel Changes In   1981   the   Crossroads   Motel   burned   to   the   ground.   The   old   house   escaped   the   inferno,   however   the   1960s   buildings were   gutted. This   lead   to   a   whole   new   look   for   the   motel.   But   it   wasn’t   to   last   all   that   long   before   more   changes   were made. The   motel   directly   after   the   fire   had   a   new   look   exterior   -   however   this   somehow   didn’t   look   “new”   the   building seemed   far   older   than   a   1981-1982   supposedly   rebuilt   motel!   From   now   on   ATV   no   longer   used   in-studio   sets   for exterior shots, all outdoor scenes were filmed at the real outside location of the Golden Valley Hotel. Pictured   Right:   The   oval   logo,   mainly   seen   on   the   male   bar   and   waiting   staff,   made   it   onto   one   version   of   the   Kitchen   staff   uniform briefly, both illustrated by Ann George as Amy Turtle and Mark Colleano as Simon Whitaker. Below   Left:   The   emblem   created   in   1964   survived   into   the   1980s   in   varying   colours.   Pictured   on   the   kitchen   uniform   of   Doris   Luke, played by Kathy Staff. From a Feather to a Crown The   feathered   logo   was   introduced   in   1982   but   wasn't   to   last   long.   It   was   actually   the   Golden   Valley's   logo   -   slightly   adapted   -   but   the   TV   regulator viewed   it   as   'advertising   the   Golden   Valley'   so   a   new   fictional   branding   had   to   be   devised.   The   crown   arrived   in   1983   and   was   used   as   the   main   motel logo until 1985, it even survived two further revamps as a secondary logo until the programme’s demise in 1988. The   Crown   symbol   used   over   this   period   was   actually   the   most   ‘Midland’   related   of   all   the   logos   with   the   central image of a bear and ragged staff being part of the Warwickshire County Council logo. The   bear   and   the   ragged   staff   were   first   used   by   the   Beauchamp   family,   who   became   earls   of   Warwick   in   1268,   as   a badge   or   mark   of   identity   in   to   addition   to   their   own   coat   of   arms.   At   first   the   emblems   seem   to   have   been   used independently.   The   bear   alone   appears   on   the   tomb   of   Thomas   Beauchamp   I   (died   1369),   in   the   chancel   of   St   Mary’s Church   in   Warwick.   Robert   Dudley,   Earl   of   Leicester,   favourite   of   Queen   Elizabeth   I,   and   great-great-great-great- grandson   of   Richard   Beauchamp,   is   known   to   have   used   the   combined   device   of   the   bear   and   ragged   staff   frequently. It   can   be   seen   in   many   places   on   the   walls   of   the   Leicester   Hospital   in   Warwick,   which   he   founded   in   1571,   and   on   a chimney piece in his castle of Kenilworth. This   crest   has   been   used   by   the   earls   of   Warwick   to   the   present   day,   but   over   the   centuries   has   also   come   to   be associated   with   the   county.   Thus   the   1st   Warwickshire   Militia   regiment   (originally   raised   in   1759,   but   reorganised under   the   Earl   of   Warwick   as   Lord   Lieutenant   in   1803)   bore   the   bear   and   ragged   staff   as   its   collar   badge   until attached   to   the   Royal   Warwickshire   Regiment   in   1881.   The   Warwickshire   Constabulary   (founded   in   1857)   also   adopted   the   bear   and   ragged   staff   as their   badge.   Warwickshire   County   Council   (formed   in   1889)   obtained   the   permission   of   the   Earl   of   Warwick   to   adopt   the   bear   and   ragged   staff   for   their common seal in 1907, and many other organisations have since followed this lead.
Related Pages: Opening Titles Motel History Locations
LEFT: Sue    Nicholls    as    waitress    Marilyn Gates     wears     a     kitchen     uniform featuring the motel logo of the era. The     typeface     used     is     entitled Stamford Heavy.
RIGHT: Diane Keen as waitress Sandra Gould  wears the first uniform seen in colour, in its 1970s varying shades of brown. The typeface used for this era is called Tahoma  Extra Bold.
LEFT: Even   after   new   uniforms   were   introduced in   1985   the   same   style   oval   logo   was   used on    the    male    staff    jackets    right    until    the series    ended.    Philip    Goodhew    as    Daniel Freeman shows this version. BELOW:   The   1982   Feather   Logo   (left)   and the 1983-88 Crown symbol (right).
RIGHT: Albert Shepherd as barman Don Rogers shows his 1970s uniform. This, used for male bar staff and waiters, lasted until 1984. The typeface used for this logo was Franklin Gothic.
Further Changes In   1985   more   rebuilding   work   took   place   at the    Crossroads    Motel.    A    hotel- style   block   with   internal   guest   rooms   rather than    chalets    was    added    to    the complex   -   with   a   number   of   the   50   chalets, many   dating   back   to   the   original   60s building,    being    demolished    to    make    the motel     more ‘hotel-like’.   The   new   accommodation   for   motel guests would be part of the building, with rooms built above the reception area. The   old   reception   area   was   demolished,   and   the   new   entrance   to   Crossroads   moved   from   the   East   side   back   to   the West   side,   where   the   original   entrance   had   been   before   the   fire.   In   the   series   interior sets were totally changed to match the move from Golden Valley to Penns Hall Hotel. Pictured   Left:   The   oval   badge   sits   alongside   the   name   badge;   the   latter   of   which   also   features the   Crossroads   Crown   logo   and   the   1985   typeface.   The   image   shows   Head   Receptionist   Thomas Darby, played by Patrick Jordan. Despite   the   ‘85   changes   the   former   crown   logo   lived   on   across   some   internal   branding such   as   menus,   wall   signs   and   badges.   The   show   re-brand   also   introduced   a   new   logo;   this   was   also   used   as   the   main signage on the exterior, uniting properly for the first time the motel brand with the programme itself. The   green   and   white   logo   remained   in   use   until   late   1987,   when   finally   Crossroads   became   a   hotel.   The   Crossroads   Country   Hotel   and   Kings   Oak Country   Hotel   signs   were   also   based   on   the   main   Crossroads   title   typeface   -   Poor   Richard.   Some   hotel   branding   later   featured   an   oak   leaf   and   acorn. Further hotel branding can be seen in our Motel History page.
LEFT: Two   photographs   of   the   Motel   Sign   used   from 1982   into   1983.   The   feather   effect   logo   was replicated   in   glass   in   the   motel   foyer   set   in   a display and across the entrance doors. Note    the    Crossroads    Motel    is    a    ‘four    star’ hotel   in   the   top   image,   and   a   ‘three   star’   in the lower image. RIGHT: The replacement signs at the Golden Valley Hotel location, using the ‘Crown’ logo. Far right we have the 1985 signage on the canopy of the Penns Hall Hotel.