Wansford Services wasn't a proper service area but the site was home to a few roadside eateries: Knights of the Road, The Mermaid Inn and then Little Chef.
The site is located on the northbound side of the A1 just north of Peterborough and south of Stamford. It is positioned next to the Wansford turnoff just south of the A47 junction.
Life at Wansford Services started in 1932 when a roadside chain known as Knights of the Road built one of their five branches here. At the time of opening, the restaurant was positioned at the Wansford Crossroads. The Knights of the Road became the Mermaid Inn in 1936 which was demolished and rebuilt in 1937 owing to the construction of the Wansford Bypass. The new building was very distinctive and had been uniquely designed.
Throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s, Forte were buying out existing roadside cafes in order to turn them into Little Chef restaurants which they owned at the time. Between 1977 and 1980, the Mermaid Inn was one of the many roadside eateries to become a Little Chef restaurant.
Along with Markham Moor South Little Chef, Wansford Little Chef was very iconic and it managed to attract a lot of travellers to dine at the restaurant. However in 2007, Little Chef's then owners, the People's Restaurant Company, were taken into administration and Little Chef had to be rescued. Fortunately, RCapital saved Little Chef but unfortunately, 38 branches had to close permanently and one of the 38 to close was Wansford.
Since 2007, the Little Chef has remained boarded up and has become covered in graffiti. The plans to make the building listed have been scrapped due to Little Chef changing the design of the windows.
In 2014, the building was finally sold to a company.
Stibbington (1 mile)
Alwalton (5 miles)
Peterborough (6 miles)
|Services on the A1||
Wittering (1 mile)
Bloody Oaks (8 miles)
Ram Jam (13 miles)
New Fox (15 miles)