Crossroads



Starring Noele Gordon, Jane Rossington and Roger Tonge

It all began on November 2 1964, with the first episode opening line "Crossroads Motel, can I help you?" spoken by Jill Richardson (Jane Rossington). Jill is the daughter of the widowed owner of the Crossroads Motel, Meg Richardson (Noele Gordon). Roger Tonge plays Meg's son Sandy.

Crossroads is set in the fictional village of Kings Oak on the outskirts of Birmingham, England. The serial centres around the lives of the staff at the Crossroads Motel and the local residents of King's Oak. The Crossroads Motel opened for business on April 17 1963 in the grounds of the Richardson family home.

Some of the earliest characters at the motel include the Head Cook, Vi Blundell (Peggy Aitchison) who is not best pleased when Carlos Raphael (Anthony Morton) is employed as the new head chef. Also, there is waitress Marilyn Gates (Sue Nicholls); Sue would later go on to star as Audrey Roberts in Granada Television's Coronation Street. One of the cleaners at the motel is Amy Turtle played by Ann George and Miss Tatum, the village postmistress in Kings Oak is played by Elizabeth Croft.

In 1975, Benny Hawkins was introduced into the serial as the motel handyman. Benny, who would go on to become a hugely popular character is played by Paul Henry and remained at Crossroads for 12 years. Benny had worked on Ed Lawton's (Thomas Heathcote) farm before getting the job at the motel.

Ed Lawton's niece is Diane Lawton (Susan Hanson) who works as a waitress at the motel. Diane, or *Miss Diane as Benny refers to her, is rather protective of Benny and the pair become close friends and remain so, until tragedy strikes and Diane dies of a brain haemorrhage in 1987. Benny named a donkey Miss Diane in memory of his most beloved friend.

Crossroads had a run of twenty-four years and 4510 episodes. The original Crossroads serial saw many new characters introduced, which meant that a great diversity of storylines was possible.

*The 'Miss' in Miss Diane was not in the original script and was the name that Paul Henry invented and used when in his character as Benny and it stuck and Benny always referred to Diane as Miss Diane.

 

ATV - 1964 - 1982 / Central Television - 1982 - 1988

Thanks to Mike Garrett of the Crossroads Appreciation Society






www.cherishedtelevision.co.uk