The most iconic building on the motorway – the mushroom-shaped Pennine Tower at our Lancaster service area – has just turned 50.
Opened in October 1965, Forton, as the site was then known, was the second service area to open on the M6 and the Pennine Tower, with its waiter-service restaurant and stunning views, was seen as the height of sophistication.
People would drive from miles around to dine in the restaurant and drink in the surrounding countryside from the sun deck. The Beatles are said to have been among the first customers.
Sadly the 72-foot high hexagonal tower was closed to the public in 1989 because of health and safety concerns.
It was granted Grade II listed status by English Heritage in 2012.