A niche 2023 calendar featuring landmarks along the London-Midlands highway is now available to buy – and the creators say they have been inundated with interested buyers.
The ‘Landmarks of the M40’ calendar features photographs of different sites for each month, including Stokenchurch Gap near Princes Risborough and a line of pylons, often referred to as Pylon Alley, between Banbury and Oxford.
Middleton Stoney’s Water Tower, Umerslade Obelisk and Banbury’s Prodrive factory are also featured in the calendar, which is available online for £7.99.
The idea was conceived by Michael Lee and Jim Thornton, who both hold senior positions at VCCP Partnership, while on one of many trips between London and Stoke-on-Trent.
A 2023 niche calendar featuring landmarks along the highway between London and the Midlands is now available to buy
The creators of the calendar say they have been inundated with interested buyers – even though it only officially launched today
The ‘Landmarks of the M40’ calendar features a photograph of different sites for each month. Pictured: January
The idea was conceived by Michael Lee and Jim Thornton, who both hold senior positions at VCCP Partnership, while on one of many trips between London and Stoke-on-Trent. Pictured: March
They regularly lamented the featureless landscape of the M40 and challenged themselves to find the value of a schedule of landmarks that any commuter along the motorway would recognise.
Mr Thornton said the company they hired to print the first print run described the calendar as ‘the strangest thing [they’d] never printed.
“I’m pretty proud of that comment,” he said. ‘You want to do something really original and we did.
“Like most of the British Isles, if you look closely, the M40 turns out to be weaving its way through a wonderland of history in all its quirky British glory.”
“Researching the landmarks has given us a renewed love and admiration for the British landscape, and the M40 in particular.”
Mr Thornton said he and his team at Motorway Vistas, the publishing company responsible for the calendar, hope “hundreds of thousands of M40 users will feel the same way and get a hold of it”.
They regularly lamented the featureless landscape of the M40 and challenged themselves to find the value of a schedule of landmarks that any commuter along the motorway would recognise. Pictured: May
Along with images, the timeline also features landmark facts and background information. Pictured: June
Along with images, the timeline also features landmark facts and background information.
Meanwhile, Mr Thornton’s business partner, Mr Lee, said he struggled to choose the perfect 12 images to include.
“We wanted patterns that most M40 drivers would recognize, but would also be visible to the driver’s eye,” he said.
“That’s why we took all the footage from the car because it was like cheating to photograph something miles to the left.”
“Many people have asked us to do timetables for other highways and if this one is successful we will hold a poll so people can vote on which to do next.”
The images were taken by Peter Beddow, the photographer and designer of the project.
The calendar images were taken by Peter Beddow, the project’s photographer and designer. Pictured: July
Angie Allgood, MD of Motorway Vistas, said “we already had so much interest before we even fully launched”
He said “I don’t actually own a car, so when Michael approached me with the idea, my first goal was to try and get into the mindset of the average M40 commuter”.
“The photos tell the story of all those little milestones that help keep you going until you reach your goal and celebrate the ones I love.”
“I also knew right away that the design had to highlight the visual language of the highway system, the colors, the typography, the debris. Seeing this all come together, I really feel like we did something that raised the bar.
“Especially when it comes to freeway-related gift items.”
Angie Allgood, MD of Motorway Vistas, said, “We’ve already generated so much interest before we’ve even fully launched.
“We had people lucky enough to receive a pre-launch copy begging for more copies.”
She said the calendar would be ideal for Secret Santa gifts for co-workers or a “long-suffering suburban pal…or a real freeway geek.”
“Let’s face it, it’s way more interesting than any calendar with dogs or historic gardens.”
Middleton Stoney’s Water Tower, Umerslade Obelisk and Banbury’s Prodrive factory are also featured in the calendar. Pictured: October
The calendar is available online for £7.99. Pictured: November
The idea was conceived by Michael Lee and Jim Thornton, who both hold senior positions at VCCP Partnership, while on one of many trips between London and Stoke-on-Trent. Pictured: December
The latest unique calendar reveal comes after ‘Britain’s most boring man’ confessed to posting his celebrating the country’s best car parks, including a haunted battle site, one costing just 15p hour and another with a cocktail bar.
Kevin Beresford has spent months traveling the UK reviewing parking offers from Land’s End to John o’ Groats.
The 70-year-old has compiled his 12 favorites into a contender for the dullest calendar of 2023 – all about parking lots.
The parking enthusiast had his latest idea after whipping up previous mundane calendars featuring roundabouts, benches and letterboxes.
He says he prides himself on highlighting the parts of British society that more conventional calendars never do in order to stand out from the crowd.
Mr Beresford’s 2023 parking calendar costs £12.50.
JANUARY: The £20million Edinburgh Airport car park where Mr Beresford says you are ‘instantly rewarded with bright and spacious surroundings’ and can admire the ‘vibrant Scottish landscape’
FEBRUARY: The Rupert Street multi-storey car park in Bristol, which offers a loop-through ‘parking experience’, but ‘rather disappointingly roof level turned out to be a private car park’
In judging what makes a good car park, Beresford considers factors such as lighting, price and space aesthetics.