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Radio presenter builds miniature Little Chef in tribute to iconic motorway eatery


A RADIO presenter has tuned into a slice of British nostalgia by recreating a legendary Little Chef motorway eatery with a quirky twist.

BBC Radio Gloucestershire broadcaster Chris Baxter from Stroud has designed a miniature cardboard version of the iconic staple, which features tables, windows, doors, grill, menu board and even an air conditioning unit.

Little Chef was once the biggest of all Britain’s roadside names. For almost 60 years it catered for families with the legendary Olympic Breakfast and a free newspaper on the menu. The first Little Chef opened in Reading in 1958, the same year Britain got its very first motorway.

And Chris, taking inspiration from his childhood, said: “As children in the 70s, when we went on long journeys, my parents always packed a picnic – we rarely stopped at a Little Chef – so if we did, it was a massive treat! I was sad when they closed – so I thought I’d build model for nostalgia’s sake.”

Chris, who previously trained as a designer, initially cooked up his childhood favourite on a computer.

He said: “Everything is hand drawn on a computer, windows, doors, logos and air conditioning.

“I love scale models – and the challenge of this was to design a kit that others can have a go at making. It’s 00 scale – so you could use it as scenery on a model railway. I trained as an information designer – so I’ve created a cut out kit and designed the instructions. I gave my brother a kit for Christmas!

“It’s printed in colour on paper, with all the panels and you have to glue the paper to different weights of card, cut out with a sharp knife, and stick together. You use recycled clear plastic for the windows.

“I find it a very relaxing and mindful: A complete contrast to my night job!

“There are little tables, and a grill – no people in yet, but it needs to open its doors first!!

“It took a few weeks to design and test that it fits together – and it takes a few days to build from the kit.”

Chris presents a late-night programme across the BBC West region, which you can hear on BBC Radio Gloucestershire from 10pm.

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