English Lakes employs passionate people! Passionate about going the extra mile for our guests. This usually comes from a good work-life balance which allows time for other interests and hobbies.
Marcus Whitney works in the Maintenance Department at English Lakes and can be called upon for any number of jobs around the hotels. When not at work, he will still have his overalls on as he turns his attention to his other passion – camper vans!
When did you start getting interested in camper vans?
About 15 years ago a friend was getting rid of an old VW camper van. A few of us clubbed together and we bought the parts that it needed and got it on the road. I had no experience of working with engines and at times my ambition was much higher than my ability! But I picked up enough knowledge for the camper van bug to bite! Unfortunately that particular van didn’t last very long.
What is it you love about these vehicles?
It’s their character and personality and the fact they symbolise fun, freedom and adventure. Many camper vans have been to places they shouldn’t and survived to tell the tale. They frequently break down but that is part of the appeal – the journey is as important as the destination. You just park up and the van becomes your eating and sleeping place – no need to find a restaurant or hotel.
So, do you own a camper van now?
Well, in order to own a van and to justify having it, I had a notion that I might hire it out for weddings. I am married with four children and so spending time on restoration and maintenance has to fit in with many other priorities in life. It also needs to be our family vehicle.
About eighteen months ago I imported an old VW camper van all the way from South Africa and I’ve been working on it ever since. I’ve rebuilt the brakes and suspension, done some welding, replaced the window seals. I’ve treated it to a new gear box and carburettor. I’ve just picked up a set of new seats on ebay for the absolute bargain price of £85. It’s only one of four in the country in that particular colour – ‘Arizona Gold’. The other three are probably in better condition!
What do your family make of it?
Emma, my wife, would probably answer that question, ‘Mmmm …’ She loves the idea of it being finished but she knows the cost in terms of time and effort. My 16 year old daughter, Abi, rolls her eyes at the project but her boyfriend thinks it’s ‘well cool’. Joel my eldest son thinks it should be on the scrapheap whilst Ethan my youngest thinks it’s great because people wave at us. So, a bit of a mixed reaction!
And your colleagues?
My work mates have been a great help. Pauline, Housekeeping Manager, has given me space on her driveway to work on the van and another colleague happened to have some spare parts which he donated to the cause!
You never know, maybe one day Marcus will realise his dream of driving some of our guests to their weddings at The Wild Boar!
Are you as passionate as us? We have many other Passionate People working at English Lakes. Take a look at what some of our other team members get up to in their spare time.
- Written by +Tina Taylor