In response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge “Freeways, Expressways and Highways” 

(or in UK: Motorways, Dual Carriageways and ordinary roads you can sometimes go quite fast on)

I wasn’t quite old enough to drive when the Pennine Tower at Forton Service Station on the M6 motorway was built in 1965 though I did admire it from the back seat of the family car. Since then I must have passed it hundreds of times travelling between Scotland and England, or nowadays driving up from Lancashire for a day in the Lake District. It has always stood out, either as an iconic design or like a sore thumb, or both.

Last year I finally got round to taking this photograph.

Forton pennine Tower M6

It has its own website where I found some interesting facts:

Such was the novelty of an American styled refreshment outlet that not only could these areas attract the motorway travellers but also locals wanting to experience something different in a place that would stay open late. Some of its earlier patrons were said to have included the Beatles who regularly made the 70 mile journey from Liverpool to experience this high raised cosmopolitan world of speed, travellers and cappuccinos.Visiting the restaurant at the top of the tower was regarded as an up-market dining experience with waiter service and chefs in tall white hats.


And a second website containing some urban myths (tower had to be closed as it looked so much like a UFO when it was lit up at night that it distracted drivers. Or the fuel crisis meant that the tower couldn’t revolve).

As well as a fancy restaurant, The Pennine Tower also had a sundeck !!!! which for those who experience/endure the Lancashire climate seems a misplaced luxury.

Or perhaps there was more sunshine in those days.







Cee Neuner · 5 April 2016 at 18:20

Such a wonderful photo for this week’s challenge. Thanks ever so much for playing along.

    HMB · 5 April 2016 at 18:23

    As I’ve said before, thank you for spurring me on in my blogging efforts with your challenges. I’m already planning next week’s and reading and rereading your post on Compositions/geometry .

Laurie Graves · 5 April 2016 at 17:46

My memory of rest stations have them as flat, red-roofed, and one-story tall. I have never seen anything quite like this in Maine or New England, although there might indeed be something similar somewhere in the United States. Very striking rest area, that’s for sure.

    HMB · 5 April 2016 at 18:10

    Thanks for your interest.
    This is quite unique I think in the UK. It created a great deal of interest when it was built at the time of the first motorways. Due to Health and Safety rules (huh) the tower is inaccessible now.

      Laurie Graves · 5 April 2016 at 21:55

      Too bad! What fun to eat in that tower and watch the traffic whiz by.

sheilahwatson · 5 April 2016 at 17:33

That takes me back a bit. A real treat to dine there at one time

I'm always pleased to read comments.....

%d bloggers like this: