The Heritage Motor Centre (HMC) at Gaydon is, as visitors to the museum will probably know, only a stone’s throw from Junction 12 on the M40 motorway. It is also a junction that is best avoided when the workers next door, at Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin go to and from work.
So, how can the volunteers possibly come to love a motorway junction? Well of course we don’t, but what we do love is the HMC’s Junction Twelve Cafe, on the first floor of the museum. As volunteers we don’t get paid for our work, but we do enjoy subsidised food and drink from this excellent cafe.
It is also where we all meet up in the morning to discuss and arrange the day’s tasks and objectives. Actually, in all honesty it’s the time for a good old chinwag on all things from anything related to cars, politics and fashion, to putting the world to right. In fact at times it can get a bit like an episode of the TV show “Grumpy Old Men”, which I know our volunteer coordinator Sonja finds amusing.
Whilst most of us like to start the day with a tea or coffee (in my case a cappuccino), some like to add a bacon sandwich in order to fuel their day. Most days there are two groups of volunteers in attendance – those with dirty hands restoring the Standard Ensign and those with clean hands collecting and recording vehicle data – but come lunchtime we all meet up again at Junction Twelve.
There’s always an excellent choice of two main hot meals with a vegetarian option, plus a salad and sandwich selection. I like to try and volunteer on Fridays now and again as fish, chips and mushy peas are always available and a great favourite. The Junction Twelve Cafe is open from 10am to 4.30pm daily and further details can be found here.