I remember being taken to Leicester Forest East service station as a child. It was a big event, my parents paid for the silver service restaurant meal for the whole family. We sat over the M1 watching the traffic roar passed underneath while being treated to a quality meal.
The M1 was the first British motorway, my parents remember before the UK Motorway system was built. I can’t find a reference to it, but I think this was the first of the modern motorway service stations.
It’s gradually become like all the other service stations, lacking the stunning uniqueness that it had when I was a kiddy.
As a post-graduate student at Loughborough University in the late 80′s we would drive out to Leicester Forest East after a night clubbing. When Loughborough closed, Leicester Forest East was open 24 hours serving burgers and coffee. A place to hang-out and watch the waifs and strays taking a break on their journeys. Fond memories. It’s scheduled to close in 2017 to make space for a wider motorway. The end of an era.