Sunday 25 October 2020

HOTEL KEY-CARD... LITERALLY CARD

HOTEL KEY-CARD - PROP

This is a lovely little item that I have had in the collection for a long time. It was donated to me by the staff at Lenton Lane after the series ended and is a great insight into the skills of the art department at the studios.

At first glance it's a plastic hotel key-card - familiar to most people these days. In fact, I stayed in a well-known budget hotel a few years ago, and even they had key-card entry on the doors. What is rather lovely about this item is that it is literally "card". It is actually just printed / laminated cardboard.

Sadly, after 17 years it is starting to show its age, but for a cheap-to-produce prop I think it's stood up rather well.

This card replicates the look of a genuine key-card rather well. I was amused to find that it was clearly based on the one I used recently as it had almost exactly the same design on the back - clearly things hadn't changed much in the years since this was produced...

Although, actually they have. In 2001 a key-card entry system was a sign of the times - and evidence that the 4 Star Crossroads Hotel had left its "creaky motel" image behind. Today you are just as likely to use an app on your phone as your hotel key.

This particular prop is identical to the one that was used by Jake Booth in Episode One of the new series, broadcast on 5th March 2001 - when he seduces a hotel guest. "It opens every room in the hotel" he tells her.  Quite.

It opens every room in the hotel.... Handy!

It's interesting to see the "electronic" key-cards in use, as during the pre-production period, the Carlton Television website showed a different way of entering the hotel rooms - well Room 101 at least. I'm sure there's a joke about Crossroads and Room 101 there - but I'll leave it to someone else. As you can see in the image below, the art-department had come-up-trumps again, and produced a metal key ring with the Crossroads logo on it. 

Well I presume it's metal - it might not be! I'd love that in the collection though, so if anyone happens to have it...let me know! It would sit nicely alongside my 1980's key fob HERE.

Traditional Key Ring on the Website - Year 2000

And then this image brings me nicely to another product from the studio's art department - but more of that next time...

Saturday 24 October 2020

CROSSROADS CARDBOARD BOX - DO NOT REMOVE


PROPERTY OF CROSSROADS HOTEL - DO NOT REMOVE

A cardboard box is hardly the most exciting thing I could talk about but it's what I've decided to focus this post on - so let's go with it.

In 2003, as the final version of Crossroads ended, I visited the exterior set at the Lenton Lane studios in Nottingham several times. The lovely chap in charge of the studios, John Revill, was on the lookout for things I might be interested in and he presented me with a rubber office stamp featuring the words "Property of Crossroads Hotel - DO NOT REMOVE", which I gratefully added to the collection. It was quite amusing to "remove" it from the studios after all.

At the time I assumed it must be something from the set, and I actually spent quite a long time looking for it in any scenes set in the offices. I couldn't - so thinking no more about it, I put it on the shelf.

About 4 years ago I posted about the Crossroads Coffee Cup and saucers that were given out to journalists at the press launch - you can find the post HERE. I thought at the time that I'd said all there was to say - and then this box turned up...

Property of Crossroads Hotel - Do Not Remove


...and there you have it - the purpose of the rubber stamp became clear - it was used to decorate the outside of the boxes.

Now it's not the greatest discovery in the world, but for the sake of completeness it gets a mention on the blog. I love little, insignificant details like this. For me, it's what collecting is all about.

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While I'm on the subject of the press-launch, here are a couple more interesting items. I've already talked about the Press Pack HERE.


This is how journalists were invited to the launch - a specially printed "DO NOT DISTURB" sign. 



There is more information about the press launch on www.crossroads2001.co.uk HERE.