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Last week we spoke of Pulse and Cocktails, that salubrious-looking Adult Shop at the side of the A1. No doubt it has stimulated many people in its time, and now it has stimulated Mark from St Neots to write in with a little bit of backstory:
It was originally built as one of the first generation McDonald’s with a larger twin site opposite. And there were plans for a bridge across the road so you could visit either site. Along with many other food sites on the A1, they were closed down as the market changed, and if you drive up and down the A1 today you will still see many empty restaurants (there are better ways to spend your time however).
McDonald’s were looking for a new occupier for the property, but whilst the property was set up as a restaurant and still had some equipment in it they wouldn’t allow any new occupier to sell chips or burgers, the staples of a motorway services, so there was little interest.
Then the property got broken into, the copper wiring stolen and the insides trashed. Walking through a pitch black former McDonald’s with a slightly stale smell of fried cooking and then your torch picks up a picture of Ronald McDonald on the wall makes you feel like you’re in a scene from Stephen King’s IT, I can tell you.
So Pulse and Cocktails actually used to be even LESS salubrious than it is now. Imagine!
Nonetheless, the site does figure in some of your misty water-coloured memories. Bryn writes:
I have to say it was a bit of a shock to hear you talk about Boothby Pagnell in your last show, as my family and I used to live there. What’s more, the A1 adult store you referenced in your show used to be a McDonald’s.
As it was just down the road, therefore easier to get to than Grantham, this was the McDonald’s our dad used to drive us to on special occasions (i.e. when mum was away and we needed tea). So you can imagine our the dismay on my and my brother’s faces when it was transformed into something rather different.
This however was nothing compared to the sheer terror and panic on my dad’s face when forced to explain to my inquisitive younger brother what had become of our local McDonald’s.
And THAT was the exact moment your brother’s childhood ended.