National Service

Cos it’s hot and cos some of you might be off in cars places this weekend here’s a little musing on service stations that I wrote for the Beeb a few weeks back. Happy Summertime!

  National Service

The tabloid headlines sing together:
Three-day weekend, lovely weather
in the motor, hell for leather
Pull into the services!

Hello Moto! Welcome Break!
Massive coffee, piece of cake
you’ll find us just off junction eight
Don’t wait! Pull into the services.

For what says Britain more accurately
than stopping off for milky tea
a lukewarm pasty and a wee
They’re free – pull into the services.

A bonding of our class diaspora
well-heeled Bentley, musty Astra
eyes meet over hot plate pasta.
It has to be the services.

The coach tours with their pac-a-macs
the chaps in powder-primrose slacks
the Mayfair mums who dole out smacks
through petrol strike and pasty tax
they come to queue for fatty snacks
the whole of Britain’s making tracks.
Howzat! Pull into the services.

Strange cities, neither here nor there
just catwalks for our leisurewear
a place where you don’t have to care.
Yeah? Pull into the services.

As British as the summer rain,
as queues and coughs and held-up trains
Gordano, Todhills, Clackett Lane.
Here again. Pull into the Services.

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