CROSSROADS CHRONICLE

Like all closely-knit communities, King’s Oak and the Crossroads Motel have had their share of joy and sadness. Babies have been born and folk have died and there has been the happy sound of wedding bells for several couples.

Brian Jarvis, Meg’s nephew, married his father’s secretary, Janice, and all seemed set fair for the young couple when they were married in the parish church. But later Brian began to drink heavily. He went away for a ‘cure’ only to find himself divorced on his return

Another wedding at the village church was that of waitress Christine Fuller to milkman Ralph Palmer. The couple later started a smallholding and everyone hoped that it would be a great success.

One wedding which caused much surprise was that of the handsome young vicar Peter Hope to Marilyn Gates, who at first refused Peter’s proposal because she felt that she was not cut out to be a clergyman’s wife. But Peter finally persuaded her, with a little help from his bishop, and now the young couple are doing missionary work in Africa, where Peter finds Marilyn an ideal helpmate.

There was a delightful real-life postscript to this wedding when the dress worn by Marilyn was given to a young orphaned hospital patient named Irene who was suffering from a hereditary disease. Irene was a keen Crossroads fan and was shortly to marry her carpenter sweetheart.

After recovering from the traumas of discovering that she had bigamously married John Crane, Jill Richardson is now happily married to Stan Harvey, with an adorable small daughter, Sarah-Jane, who is the apple of Meg’s eye. Sarah-Jane is doubly precious because of Jill’s previous miscarriage, and the disappointment of giving up their ‘adopted baby to Sheila. Although many people were surprised at Jill’s choice of husband, the Harveys are very happy and Meg is sure that, despite their different backgrounds, Stan and Jill can face the future confidently together.

Romance has no age barrier and some time ago Wilf, Stan’s plain-spoken father, found himself a new wife in Myrtle Cavendish, which pleased everyone at Crossroads very much. Myrtle, who worked in a pub, and Wilf, moved into a flat above Stan’s shop.

But babies can cause unhappiness as well as bring joy as Jill and Stan found to their sorrow. They unofficially adopted his sister Sheila’s baby but when Sheila married the baby’s father, Roy Mollison, later on, she took the baby back. Jill was very upset but soon she had a daughter of her own to make up for her loss.

But another baby was responsible in an innocent way for the breakup of Vince Parker’s marriage. Vince, the friendly King’s Oak postman, married Diane Lawton, fully prepared to accept her baby by film star Frank Adam as his own. But when Diane accepted financial help from Frank Adam the marriage began to crumble; now the couple are separated and Vince lives in London, a sad loss to King’s Oak.

Two of the managers of the Motel have also found romance which ended in wedding bells. Paul Stevens and waitress Sandra Gould are now running a hotel in Guernsey, while Tessa Wyvern and her husband Nick Van Doren moved into their own hotel soon after their marriage.

Brian Jarvis has had more than his fair share of trouble. Acquitted of a manslaughter charge, his drinking causes trouble between himself and Janice, and despite efforts by both his parents and the Giffords to effect a reconciliation, the couple finally obtain a divorce.

And what of Meg herself? An on-off romance with Hugh Mortimer for some ten years resulted in a marriage to Malcolm Ryder with disastrous results. Malcolm tried to poison her for the insurance money he would collect on her death. When this attempt failed he fled and he was reported dead abroad.

Hugh entered her life once more and it seemed at last that Meg would find happiness, but Malcolm returned to England. Still alive, he had passed off another body as his own, but later he was returned to South America to stand trial for murder, and Meg was free to start divorce proceedings.

At last it seems that, after years of heartbreak and waiting, Meg and Hugh are to find happiness together at last. A Registry Office ceremony is followed by a Blessing at St. Philip’s Cathedral crowded with family, friends and well-wishers, setting the seal on a day Meg will always remember.

Wilf finds a moment in his busy day helping out at the motel to give Myrtle the barmaid a ring. Myrtle and Wilf later marry and go to live in a flat over Stan's shop.

Years of happiness and contentment seem ahead of them, but the fates decree differently. On a trip to Australia Hugh is kidnapped by terrorists, he suffers a fatal heart attack . . . and once again Meg finds herself a widow.

But still enjoying married life are Meg’s brother Andy Fraser and his wife Ruth Bailey, whose wedding was the cause of great celebrations in the 500th edition of Crossroads. After his marriage Andy left the merchant navy, which had been his life for so long, and at first the couple had a grocery business and later a travel agency.

But life has its sad moments as well as its times of joy, as several Crossroads people, notably Meg and her family, know to their cost.

Meg has lost both a dear sister in Kitty Jarvis and a beloved husband, but life goes on.

Bennie, from the farm at King’s Oak, lost Maureen, the girl he was to marry, in an accident on their wedding day, and now he makes a pilgrimage to her grave to relive their happy times together.

The staff at Crossroads were all terribly distressed also when Josefina got a letter telling her that her husband Carlos, their popular Spanish chef, had died in a fire, heroically trying to save some trapped children. And when George Petersham tried to commit suicide by jumping under a train because of becoming an alcoholic, the staff and all his fans were greatly shocked, for George has been in Crossroads since the first episode.

Tragedy hit the motel again when a blind girl was kidnapped by Edge Sharp, a gunman who killed a policeman and injured Angela’s father as they tried to rescue her. But later there was new hope that Angela’s sight might be restored.

So it goes on, as the lives of Meg and her family and staff and the customers at Crossroads are interwoven in a pictorial patchwork of bright and dark days when human emotions, good and bad, rule the lives of everyone.

The Harvey family – Jill, Stan and Sarah-Jane.

DIANE… a happy ending?

Diane down on the farm – where she was a source of strength and help to Uncle Ed when his wife died.

Diane’s life at the Crossroads Motel has had its fair share of ‘ups’ – and more than its fair share of ‘downs’. In fact Diane could be called the ‘problem child’ of the Motel. In ten years she has gone through crisis after crisis. . . .

At first everything seemed set for Diane Lawton. She got married to Vince Parker, the kind, dependable postman. But she was restless, wanted something more from life, and sadly the marriage broke up, despite all Vince’s efforts. After this, several affairs followed, most of them with unhappy endings. Diane seemed to drift, her job as waitress being the only steadying influence in her life.

Other traumas followed, and Diane took to drinking for a while … then there was the saga of Frank Adam, the movie star who fathered her illegitimate child Nicky. Frank took him to America and, despite all her efforts, Diane has seen little of her son since.

Sue Hanson, who plays Diane, agrees that all these experiences could well have soured Diane, but she believes that they have only made her wiser and stronger. Sue’s life, of course, has been quite different. After Drama School she went on the stage at the famous Mermaid Theatre, and later starred in a rock and roll film. There was a stint with the stage version of The Boyfriend, some TV work … and then Crossroads. Although it’s very hard work, Sue loves being part of the Crossroads team, and she finds the character of Diane very stimulating. “Everything I can’t be, I try to put into Diane,” she says. “I try to make her very complex and above all interesting!”

Another difference between Diane and Sue is that Sue is very happily married. She met Carl Wayne, who was a member of the group The Move, in 1968. They live in Birmingham, within easy reach of the ATV studios and Sue’s parents, who live in Lancashire (Sue was born in Preston). It’s also an ideal centre for Carl, who tours, playing nightclubs.

So, what now for Diane? She does seem to have settled down rather now that she’s a frequent visitor to her uncle Ed’s farm. After a long stay there to sort out her problems she is still very attached to the place, and the atmosphere there seems to help. There’s Benny, too – the backward labourer she has taken ‘under her wing’. Sue believes that Benny is a kind of substitute for the son that Diane never sees, and that the protective friendship, with Diane teaching Benny to read and write, has done Diane a world of good. So perhaps it won’t be too long before the girl with the unhappy beginnings finds a happy ending.

1978 // TRANSDIFFUSION BROADCASTING SYSTEM