The Crossroads Motel was built onto an old Georgian house on the outskirts of the village of Kings Oak to coincide with the opening of a new motorway nearby. The house, set in five acres of land, had been a successful B&B for circa ten years prior to Meg Richardson transforming it into the all-new motel in 1963.
The house had been left to Meg and her late husband Charles Richardson by one of his aunts in 1950. With a bank loan, and compensation money from the council for part of the motorway cutting through the Richardson's land, Meg developed the Crossroads Motel. She ran the business with the help of her son Sandy and daughter Jill.
Meg Richardson, Bernard Booth, Gerald Lovejoy and Tish Hope
In 1969 Meg was strapped for cash. In order to make money quickly she set about selling some of her Crossroads shares. Best friend Tish Hope and chefs Bernard Booth and Gerald Lovejoy, the latter also a stand in manager from time to time, invested in the motel. Meg was left with 51% in Crossroads Motel Limited.
In 1971 Bernard Booth sold his shares to incoming manger David Hunter.
Meg Richardson and David Hunter
In 1971 David Hunter arrived in Kings Oak, having previously owned a hotel abroad. It was later discovered his deranged wife, Rosemary, was being kept locked away in his cottage in the village; for her own safety of course. Their arrival in the Midlands was a last ditch attempt at keeping their marriage together, she'd been unfaith while David had been working hard at their holiday resort hotel in Spain.
While ultimately Rosemary and David spilt, his business adventures were more successful. After joining Crossroads as the senior motel manager he persuaded first Bernard Booth, and later Tish Hope, to sell their shares in the motel to him. Later Gerald Lovejoy also sold out, leaving David with 49% of the business to Meg Richardson's 51%.
Mortimer Investments and David Hunter
In a gesture of good will Meg sold David 1% of her shares to make them 'equal partners'. In 1975 Meg married international businessman Hugh Mortimer and her shares in Crossroads Motel Limited were transferred to Mortimer Investments. David Hunter was far from happy about this, and more so when Hugh and his son Anthony started getting 'fancy ideas' about the motel. At one point the Mortimer's planned to open a hip and trendy disco-nightclub in the basement.
In 1977 Rosemary Hunter, David's deranged ex-wife, tried to buy her way back into David's affections by offering to buy up some of Meg's shares. Meg declined.
Meg Mortimer, Adam Chance and David Hunter
In 1978 Hugh Mortimer died of a heart attack while being held hostage in Australia. It later transpired that Mortimer Investments were in serious financial trouble. This pulled the Crossroads Motel down with the company. Meg couldn't afford to buy-back the shares as her own, leaving the motel to be sold on. Hugh's accountant, Adam Chance, managed ultimately to free the Crossroads Motel from Mortimer Investments by purchasing the shares himself.
He later sold some of the shares back to Meg Mortimer. This left David with 50%, Adam 35% and Meg with 15%.
Adam Chance, Jill Harvey, Barbara Hunter, David Hunter and J. Henry Pollard
In 1981 Meg Mortimer retired from the business, and left the village. Her shares went to her daughter Jill Harvey. Adam Chance a few months earlier had sold some of his shares to David Hunter, making him the major shareholder in the business. Meg's departure was partly brought about when David Hunter attempted to sell the motel outright to international businessman J. Henry Pollard. As David was the main owner he could, if he wanted to, sell the entire motel to another company or person.
David however was persuaded not to and instead sold 15% of his shares to wife Barbara. Later in 1982 J. Henry Pollard also bought into Crossroads Motel Limited. His intentions were not business minded. He planned to pin his wife, Valerie, into the motel to stop her wandering off with other men. He placed her as a barmaid, much to her indignation. For a time he also placed some of his shares, with agreement of the other directors, with his daughter, Miranda.
Major International Hotels - MIH
In 1985 J.Henry Pollard was offered a lucrative deal by a hotel chain to purchase the Crossroads Motel. He urged the other shareholders to accept the offer from Major International Hotels. David and Barbara Hunter approved the sale, as did Adam Chance. The only person against it was Jill, now married to Adam, who wanted the business to remain in the family.
The motel was sold to MIH with their Managing Director, Nicola Freeman, taking up residency in Kings Oak.
Tommy Lancaster and The Red Ox Chain
Having visited Kings Oak at Christmas 1986, Tommy Lancaster - a successful restaurant chain owner - put in a bid to become the sole owner of the Crossroads Motel. Major International Hotels, against the wishes of Nicola Freeman, sold the motel to Tommy in early 1987. He primarily bought the complex for his wife to run, to give her an interest while he was running his empire. However Mary wasn't 100% committed to the business after suffering from ill health. Therefore Tommy and their daughters Debbie and Lisa helped their mother with the motel business.
The Lancasters revamped the motel as the Crossroads Country Hotel, however when Mary died suddenly Tommy was left with a hotel that he didn't really want. A year after he bought Crossroads he placed it for sale.
Three Crowns Group
It seemed a done deal when Jill and Adam Chance arranged to buy the hotel from Tommy Lancaster. They had first refusal on the complex, and it appeared Jill was keen that what had been her mothers motel would return back into the family. On the day of the sale however Jill decided to quit Kings Oak and head off with her lover John Maddingham for a new life, and hotel, elsewhere.
The former motel was ultimately sold to The Three Crowns Group, which installed Daniel Freeman - the step-son of previous boss Nicola Freeman - as its new manager. This was all much to the distaste of Adam, who had previously sacked Daniel from the motel leisure centre for being lazy.
Details on the main Motel Staff can be found here.