New appointment at Gratnells

Gratnells is delighted that Tariq Phillips will be joining us next month to head up our UK operation. There are few people with such a huge experience of our sector and I am grateful he has chosen Gratnells as his next port of call. Our best wishes go out to his former parish, Kit for Kids, and their new management structure. Martin Wells, who many of you will have known as their Middle East honcho has become their MD and I wish them the best.



Watch me get fit and help a charity at the same time!


We’ve decided to have a Gratnells Team bike riding challenge and raise money for charity at the same time.  On the third of July this year Team Gratnells will be donning our custom fancy cycling jerseys and attempting to cycle from London to Cambridge.  I’ve been cajoled into joining the team of eight despite not being a long distance cyclist – or any kind of cyclist for that matter!  So I have from now until July to get to peak fitness.

We’re doing this cycle to raise much needed money for Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity which is dedicated to funding research into this devastating disease. They believe that if we all act now, by 2050 everyone who develops breast cancer will live.

Please donate to our team effort – we’ll be putting our sweat and probably tears into this event. Every little helps – you can donate with this button below.  Thank you
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

A Gratnells Christmas tree

Today we decided to see if you could build a reasonable Christmas tree out of Gratnells trays.  After a few failed starts and enlisting the help of our resident consulting engineer we managed to build something resembling a tree from green Jumbo F3 trays.  With some tinsel and baubles you’d hardly know it wasn’t plucked from a forest!  Now it has pride of place outside our Director’s box in the factory. Pictures show me and Marketing Director Richard Picking next to the tree and Marketing Coordinator Emily adding some final touches.




A novel use for a shallow tray!

I was delighted to see this picture of a Gratnells F1 Shallow Tray being put to good use at one of our customer’s Christmas Party.  LeXsolar in Dresden who supply renewable energy experiment sets were happy to use a tray to serve up their party food. Always nice to see a bit of lateral thinking!



A very Happy Christmas!

This year’s Gratnells Christmas card has our office team rendered beautiful through the medium of cartoon.  I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for a successful year in 2015.

Christmas card

Our office is closed from 24th December through to Monday 5th January.

SmartCase Raspberry Pi sets in action

I was interested to read about a ‘Raspberry Jam’ in Southend last weekend. The event featured the recent Raspberry Pi kits made by ExploreStem using the Gratnells SmartCase. In the pictures you can clearly see the SmartCase kits being used by each visitor as they learned the basics of programming MineCraft using a Raspberry Pi kit.  These kits are used to demonstrate Raspberry Pi and introduce people to the beginning of coding. Each SmartCase contains a complete Raspberry kit including keyboard.  Also from the pictures they seem to double up as a useful monitor stand when empty. Who’d have thought!


You can read in full about the Raspberry Jam event at


SmartCase Raspberry Pi cases for STEM ambassadors

We were delighted to supply Explore STEM – a leading STEM Ambassador program – with a set of 30 SmartCases which were specially designed to hold their classroom Raspberry Pi kits.

Explore STEM manages the Schools STEM Advisory Network and STEM Ambassadors Programme across Essex, Southend and Thurrock. They keep schools informed about high-quality activities they can access to enrich and enhance the STEM curriculum and enable them to use a range of STEM Ambassadors. Working with local experts, they provide tailored advice and assistance quickly and easily to schools and colleges across Essex by helping the delivery of enrichment and enhancement activities, providing STEM Ambassadors and helping Schools develop and provide after-school STEM clubs.


This Raspberry Pi project was funded by the IET (institute of Engineering and Technology); a body which aims to promote the teaching of Science and Technology subjects in schools. Explore STEM approached us to create a customised STEM Ambassador SmartCase which could hold a complete Raspberry Pi kit. The kits were created with a special foam insert that can hold a whole Raspberry Pi starter kit for each pupil and the lid has a wallet that contains a keyboard so everything needed to set up one student is in a handy case. The initial feedback has been very positive with a lot of positive comments on twitter from the first picture!


Getting ready for Worlddidac next week

So this week we are dashing round with final preparations for our stand at the Worlddidac Education Trade exhibition in Basel next week. Stand designs have been signed off, products have been shipped, brochures have gone to the printers and most importantly the tea and coffee machines have been safely packed away with the rest of the materials being shipped to Basel in Swizerland.

We are very excited to be showcasing our two most significant launches of the last decade: the SmartCase and the new Callero range. SmartCase has just been launched and Callero units will be available in 2015.

Don’t forget if you visit our stand you could be the lucky winner of a Kindle Paperwhite. The show runs in Basel, Swizerland from October 29 to 31 So please join me on the Gratnells stands D100 and D105. I look forward to seeing you there.

You can read more about our show plans here.

If you will not be attending the Worlddidac show but would like the latest information on our new launches you can see the new Callero and SmartCase brochures on the trade section of our website.


Conversation spotted on twitter

We were delighted to spot this conversation on Twitter this week. ‘You know you’re a teacher when finding unused Gratnells trays and drawers at school is a personal highlight’ Actually we are the ones feeling like the proud parent!