Current Owner: Welcome Break
You can spot this MSA a few more miles off than normal due to Membury Transmitter which is in an adjacent field. This was built by the ITA (Independent Television Authority) to relay ITV to the South Midlands until about 1985. It transmitted nothing for many years but now is used by the BBC to transmit radio, but only at a very low power, so its size is misleading! (more)
Built on the site of the Membury USAF airfield, which saw action during world war II. The motorway is built through the airfield, and the old control tower is still nearby. A memorial has been constructed in the service area, featuring a propellor. (more & even more)
One day at 3am in 1995, a film maker saw a woman and her young daughter sitting at a table and wondered “Who are these people here at 3AM?”. He instantly had the idea of vampires posing as emergency services who lived off human road-kill on the M4. This became a film called “Octane” (link to IMDB) (more-link to thread with film maker)
Halfords opened their first Motorway service area shop at Membury
The Red Hen restaurant was separate from the main complex, in a building in the car park. It closed in March 2004.
A party of ramblers stopped here for a loo stop on Sunday 23 April.(2006) There were so many loos in the Ladies which were either locked (not in use ) or with no door bolts that we had some difficulty finding one to use despite the fact that it was not busy and we were only 12 people.
As a showpiece for Britain this is a DISGRACE
I visited this in 1995 and the car park was not lit, and it was rather tired. Its now been rejuvinated, and like most MSA’s offers a choice of eating (BK, KFC, & food court). All food is is upstairs, everything else, downstairs.