The Skeeby branch was a Little Chef restaurant located on the A1 near the small village of Skeeby, North Yorkshire.
Address and Onsite InformationEdit
ADDRESS: A1 North, Skeeby, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 5EQ
ONSITE FACILITIES: Travelodge
Life at Skeeby started in the 1960s when an independent, known as the Clock Cafe opened on site. It was a typical transport cafe which was much loved by long distance travellers and was often used by those travelling north on the A1 to Scotland. The cafe sat about 1 mile south of the famous Scotch Corner junction, a busy intersection serving two roads (A1 and A66) heading towards Scotland so the chances of a lot of traffic passing the cafe were quite high.
In the early-mid 1970s, Forte, along with many other transport cafes, bought the Clock Cafe and replaced it with a Little Chef restaurant as part of their plans to expand the chain rapidly across the UK. In order to save money and time, Forte decided to house the new Little Chef inside of the original Clock Cafe building. After all, the Clock Cafe building was still In decent shape so there was no need for a new building to be built.
In 1988, the site saw the addition of a Little Chef Lodge hotel in order to provide accommodation for tired travellers. This was rebranded as Travelodge in 1989.
Just north of the Little Chef was the large Scotch Corner service station, operated by service station giant, Moto. Scotch Corner services was a site which housed more facilities than Skeeby services, therefore it was likely that travellers would stop here instead of the Little Chef site in order to benefit from more options. However, seeming that the Little Chef site came before Scotch Corner for those travelling northbound, it was likely that the Little Chef attracted travellers to the site before reaching Scotch Corner, therefore this was a good thing as this meant that the site received a decent amount of custom rather than giving it away to Scotch Corner.
In late 2009, Rainton North Little Chef (located 20 miles south) closed. This left Little Chef with unused Coffee Tempo equipment and signage. Rather than letting it go to waste, the equipment was transferred to Skeeby and a new Coffee Tempo outlet opened there instead. However, this proved to be unpopular and was therefore gone by 2011.
In 2012, it was announced that the A1 between Leeming Bar and Barton (the section that the Little Chef stands on) would be upgraded to a new three laned motorway. Work on the new road started in 2014 and should be completed by 2017. After seeing what happened to other Little Chefs (such as Rainton North and Rainton South) which have closed due to motorway upgrades, there is a possibility that the Little Chef at Skeeby may close when the new motorway upgrade is completed. However, in the current plans, the A1 Northbound will be converted into a local access road, which should mean the Little Chef survives (albeit off of the mainline).
In April 2016, the nearby Shell filling station closed down due to the upcoming movement of traffic from the old A1 northbound to the new road. However, the Little Chef managed to soldier on for over a year until May 2017 when the branch closed permanently.