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Rainton services

Road:A1 Leeming Lane near Ripon
(Google Maps link)
Address:North Yorkshire
Grid reference:SE362741 (SABRE Maps)
Services type:Two sites located between junctions, with no public connection between them.

Rainton services was a pair of Little Chefs, until it fell victim to the A1 upgrade.


Catering: Little Chef, Burger King (northbound only), Coffee Tempo! (northbound only) Hotel: Travelodge (northbound only) Forecourt: Texaco (northbound only)


Rainton services was built in 1978 by Texaco as a dual-sided service station with each side offering a filling station and a café, which was operated by a company called Station Supreme. As a result, Rainton services was sometimes called 'Rainton Supreme'.

The northbound café opened with a large, distinctive building with a sloping metal roof. There was supposed to be a footbridge between the two sides but it wasn't built.

By 1983 the Station Supremes had closed, as had the southbound forecourt. The restaurants were purchased by Happy Eater, who closed the southbound restaurant and replaced it with a new, more simple building. The filling station on the southbound side was also demolished but the filling station on the northbound side was kept.

In Red

In 1995, Trusthouse Forte chose Rainton as one of its first sites to replace Happy Eater with Little ChefHistory, which they believed was a more accessible brand. In order to reflect the Little Chef brand, the metal roof of the northbound building was painted bright red.

As a Little Chef, it was one of their busiest restaurants. A Coffee Stop was soon added on each side, which soon became a Café Nescafe. When Granada took over Little Chef, they replaced this with a Burger King.

In 2004, Little Chef started to reduce its market saturation. With Sinderby 10 miles down the road, the southbound restaurant that had no supporting lodge or filling station was closed. New owners quickly reversed this decision, closing Sinderby and re-opening Rainton South.

In 2006, a Coffee Tempo! café was built alongside the Little Chef on the northbound side.


Rainton services closed.
The building after closing.

In 2008, there were plans to upgrade the A1 between Dishforth and Leeming Bar to motorway which involved widening the road, causing it to consume Rainton services. For a while it looked like a new motorway service area would be built here, but plans never materialised as the owners, Malthurst, were more interested in a site near the A61.

Consequently, the southbound services were compulsory purchased as part of the roadworks, and the Little Chef here closed in late 2008/early 2009, It was demolished soon after.

In late 2009, the Little Chef, Burger King and Coffee Tempo! on the northbound side ceased trading and the main building was left boarded up. The last to go was the Texaco petrol station which closed on 3 January 2010, marking the end of Rainton services.

Rainton has since been vandalised and is slowly falling to ruin, and has been visited by a few 'Urban Explorers'. 28 Days Later hosts pictures of its state in February 2015.

In mid 2015, the former Little Chef was demolished, but the former Texaco shop was still standing and attracted vandalism.

The site is now a dealership for Renault trucks, still clearly seen from the A1(M) but accessed from the local road network.