Our first ‘pit stop workshop’

11 October, 2010

Well we did it, or rather Paul did it – ran our first ever Pit Stop Workshop on Saturday.  A group of 12 women arrived to learn the basics of car maintenance, from checking oil levels and tyre pressures to changing a wheel. Everyone knew before they arrived that audience participation was what the day was about, and we all had an opportunity to get stuck in.

Jenny and Emily are at Sixth Form College and will soon be taking driving lessons. They definitely want the best start and the workshop provided them with first-hand experience. Their initial task was to check the oil level in an Audi A5. Of course they couldn’t find the dipstick, because that model doesn’t have one, as the oil level is monitored electronically.

It’s obvious that some of some of us have never checked our oil levels because another ‘workshopper’ discovered she didn’t have a dipstick either.  Still we eventually found one in a VW Passat so the day was saved!

Jill has been a loyal John Austin customer for 14 years and decided now was the time to stop asking someone else for help and do it herself. She had an ally in Bridget, who has never been to the garage before, but wanted to be more self-sufficient and, by the end of the morning, she was.

Emily already knew about tyre pressures and oil levels, but hadn’t changed a wheel. She might never need to, but at least she now knows how!

We were also delighted when Priti Patel, Member of Parliament for Witham, also took some time out to join us, even though she had to return to work that afternoon. Sadly it meant she wasn’t able to sample the wonderful coffee and cakes at The Food Company next door, which is where we all trooped after a thoroughly useful and really enjoyable morning.