History of Colsterworth services
The former interior layout of the Colsterworth services amenity building.
The A1 Colsterworth Bypass had a garage attached to a property called Westholm, positioned on the southbound side, immediately before the crossroads. This formed the start of the variety of service areas which are now available here.
A Happy Eater and a Travelodge were built behind the Westholm garage, which became known as Jubilee Garage. This service area was accessed directly from the A1 southbound, and the Travelodge opened in around 1990.
The Happy Eater operated in tandem with a nearby restaurant on the northbound side.
Granada decided to go head-on with Forte's Happy Eater by building a large restaurant in the south-east corner of the new Colsterworth Roundabout, on the site of the Compass Cafe truckstop. An entrance was provided on the main A1 southbound, in addition to the entry and exit on the A151. Road signs on both sides of the A1 told drivers that they could choose between the Granada site, or one of the Happy Eaters.
The Granada site opened on 5 September 1989 with a Country Kitchen Restaurant, shop, arcade, Granada Lodge and filling station. Before it opened, 28ft rocket ship was placed by the building, to attract attention from passing motorists on the A1. The open day included space-themed events held for children and a "Lunar Brunch" meal was sold in the restaurant.
The main building took an L-shape, as was common at the time, with the motel completing a C-shape. In the centre was a quad, originally looking smart with the light paving contrasting against the dark building, but it quickly faded.
A bay window, good for the restaurant but unusual for a service area, provided a view of the A1. A narrow corridor provided access to the HGV parking.
Granada next acquired Forte, which gave them access to Little Chef, Happy Eater, Travelodge and Welcome Break. With this range of catering, Granada ended their deal with AJ's, and the Colsterworth restaurant closed.
In the early 1990s, Granada started advertising the site as "Grantham". In 1995 Granada acquired Grantham North, so the Colsterworth site came to be nicknamed "Grantham South", though officially Granada would usually call it "Grantham (Colsterworth)".
On Sunday 30 July 1995, Panther from the TV show 'Gladiators' spent 45 minutes at the AJ's restaurant signing autographs and interacting with fans.
As part of their acquisition, Granada now owned both the Happy Eaters and the hotel to the north of the roundabout. The Happy Eaters did become Little Chefs, but soon closed, as did the hotel.
The southbound restaurant and hotel lay abandoned for many years. They were both eventually demolished, the former in 2014 and the latter in 2019. Meanwhile the Jubilee Garage, branded Esso and later Jet, had also lost some trade to the new, larger service area.
Main Restaurant Reopens
With Granada closing the two northern restaurants, they opened a large Little Chef in the main, newer, Colsterworth building, next to the existing Burger King. The Granada Lodge became a new Travelodge.
All of Granada's brands were merged with Compass in 2001, causing the company to be re-branded Moto. In practice, Moto treated this site as a Little Chef site, and Granada's branding was replaced by Little Chef's.
In 2002 Compass sold Little Chef and Travelodge, but at Colsterworth Moto kept control of the land.
The opening of the new Colsterworth Flyover in 2008 significantly changed the access arrangements for some of the facilities.
The Jubilee Garage would now be positioned next to the slip road from the A1. This road would also be used to access the main ex-Granada restaurant. This means that the Jubilee Garage would now technically be the more visible of the two, however, the new "Services" sign at its entrance was knocked down and never replaced. Instead, anybody who insists on following the road signs would be directed onto the A151, where entrances to both facilities are available.
Travelling northbound, traffic looking for "Services" would now be directed onto the new flyover, and wouldn't see the northbound service area unless they ignored those signs. The signs would direct them to the main ex-Granada entrance, but from here, they would also be able to see the entrance to the Jubilee Garage.
The restaurants in the main amenity building were sold to Euro Garages in 2017 who had a year to rebrand the Little Chef. At the last moment they changed it to EG Diner, which closed in October 2018.
During autumn 2019, the main amenity building underwent major refurbishment works: the bay window facing the A1 was removed and a refurbished Burger King Drive Thru opened alongside a new addition of Greggs.
The former Subway store in the forecourt also closed and was relocated to the main amenity building as part of these works however, following the COVID-19 lockdown, the new Subway store in the main building also permanently closed.
Moto still owned the main southbound filling station for a while, however it is on a long term lease to ROC. They handed it to Euro Garages in late 2013, making Euro Garages the main operator here. Euro Garages rebranded the store to SPAR.
On 15 February 2024, the petrol station became part of the Asda Express estate.
Jubilee Garage Changes
The former restaurant building was demolished in 2014.
The Jubilee Garage rebranded to BP in 2017.
A new McDonald's drive thru opened in place of the former Happy Eater and Travelodge in October 2019. The old hotel had been demolished earlier that year. This has increased the trade travelling through the Jubilee Garage.