The 'must-have' calendar for Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth commuters - landmarks of the M40!
The is bizarre idea is the brainchild of Michael Lee and Jim Thornton during one of their many trips along the full length of the M40, between their London office and the office they were establishing in Stoke-on-Trent.
They would regularly bemoan the M40’s rather featureless and unmemorable nature, so in the absence of anything better to do, they decided to challenge themselves to find a full 12-month calendar’s worth of landmarks that any M40 commuter would recognise for themselves.
Michael Lee, one of the co-founders of Motorway Vistas, the company behind Landmarks of the M40, said: “It wasn’t easy picking the right 12 images. We wanted ones that most M40 drivers would recognise but were also viewable from the drivers eyeline. That’s why we shot all the images from the car as it felt like cheating to photograph something miles away to the left. We’ve had loads of people asking us to do calendars for other motorways and if this one is successful, we will set up a poll so people can vote on which one to do next.”
Jim Thornton added: “Our printer said to us when we picked up the first run “That is the oddest thing we’ve ever printed!”. I’m quite proud of that comment. You want to make something truly original and we’ve done that. Like most of the British Isles, if you look hard enough, the M40 turns out to carve its way through a wonderland of history in all its eccentric British glory.
"Doing the research on the landmarks has given us a renewed love and admiration for the British landscape, and the M40 in particular.”
Angie Allgood, MD of Motorway Vistas: “We’ve already been getting so much interest even before we’ve fully launched. We’ve had people lucky enough to receive a pre-launch copy begging for more copies.. it’s definitely got “Secret Santa gift for colleagues” written all over it. But it’s also the perfect present for long suffering commuter chums or just, you know, genuine motorway geeks.
“Let’s face it, it’s way more interesting than any calendar with dogs or historic gardens!”
It features notable sights, including the Stokenchurch Gap near Princes Risborough and the less celebrated line of pylons, now christened Pylon Alley, between Banbury and Oxford, plus fascinating, and frankly indispensable, facts about each of the landmarks.
Peter Beddow, photographer and designer, said: “I don’t actually own a car so when Michael approached me with the idea, my first goal was to try and put myself in the mindset of the average M40 commuter. It made me think of when I used to do a lot of running and how it’s such a mental thing — trying to stay motivated without thinking too hard about how far away the finish line is and becoming depressed. So, the photos tell the story of all those little milestones that help keep you going until you reach your goal and celebrate those, which I kind of like.
The calendar, available to buy online for £7.99 + P&P at motorwayvistas.com