Tuesday 27 April 2021

WHAT'S ON THE MENU?



EARLY 1980's PROP MENU

In March 2001, Jill has returns to the Crossroads Hotel, and soon busies herself getting to know the staff. She finds her way to the kitchen and asks a rather bemused Billy Taylor whether they still have Black Forest Gateaux on the menu – after all, it was very popular back in the day, and the secret of a good hotel restaurant is to give the customer what they want!





Billy is unconvinced.

But… Was Black Forest Gateaux really on the menu back in the day?

Well – I can answer this question quite definitively with a “yes” as the latest addition to the Crossroads Collector blog concerns this – a genuine prop menu from  the early 1980’s.



It is basically a leatherette / vinyl folder containing two printed pages of menu – one of which features the 1980’s style Crossroads Motel logo.

The cover also has “Crossroads Motel” and “Menu” picked out in gold letters.

One of my friends joked recently that as long as an item has “Crossroads” printed on it – I’ll buy it – no matter what it is. Now this is only half true – but in this case, the menu also comes with provenance - and that is why I was willing to spend a little more than usual on it....

Firstly, it is fairly easy to screen match the menu as it has a number of features that can be seen in early 1982 episodes:

Distinctive fabric lining

The gold / elastic rope around the edge

The leatherette cover with gold writing

Secondly, alongside the menu was a Mirror Group Newspapers letter informing the recipient that they had won a prize in their Crossroads competition...



If you remember, I recently talked about the Biddle and Webb auction that was held when the series ended in 1988 - During the auction, Mirror Group Newspapers spent over £3000 buying up lots to give away in a competition in the Daily Mirror. The menus even get a mention....



Thirdly, if you look at the auction catalogue, item number 127 is a selection of Crossroads menus.



In fact, the menu cover still shows evidence of where the “lot number” sticker was – and the number 127 can be seen quite clearly where the ink has leaked through.



And really – that’s all there is to tell you about the menu. I’m really pleased with it, and it’s a great addition to the collection.

Oh – by the way  - back to Jill’s gateaux…

“A selection of Gateaux, Cheesecakes and Trifles” is available on the menu for £1.20 – but to be honest, I would rather go for “Home Baked Apple Pie and Fresh Cream” for 90p