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We have just had a customer contact us asking for pricing for some of our products. Nothing unusual about that you might think – but the  customer asked for a catalogue featuring ‘draw and shelf systems that are suitable for kitting out cupboards and wardrobes complete with price list’ and enclosed a copy of the relevant ad:

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This ad dates from 1969 – before Gratnells even had our current range of trays and runners, or any products aimed at the educational market. In fact the ad is so old that it features my mother as a young woman, and the small boy in the Nursery shot is none other than yours truly!

 

This must surely be one of the longest ever lead times from promotion to sale!

 

A smashing time at the ASE Conference

Igniting the imagination

Gratnells was delighted to sponsor CBBC’s Fran Scott for a lively hour-long CPD presentation on the final day of the annual ASE (Association for Science Education) Conference held at Reading University on 10th January. Speaking to a capacity audience, Fran ‘ignited the imagination’ of over a hundred science teachers who had come along to translate her style of making science more engaging to students within the classroom setting.

A smashing time was had by all!
A smashing time was had by all!

After the presentation, Pete Robinson, immediate past Chair of the ASE said of Gratnells sponsorship of the event: “It is pleasing that there are companies like Gratnells … We’re looking for opportunities to work in partnership with our corporate partners such as Gratnells. And Gratnells went off and did this virtually completely on their own – with our support – and they came to us with the idea. And how lovely, what a great way to engage people with science teaching and learning. A really fantastic story, and what was so great about the story, was not the we got a ‘science show’ – we can go anywhere to get a science show – we got the thinking behind that science show.”

You will be able to see the full video on the Gratnells website in the next two weeks. You can also learn more about Fran Scott and her new roadshow ‘#Error404’ at: www.greatscottscienceshows.co.uk

 

 

Trays spotted in ITV’s Broadchurch

Regular readers of this blog will know that very little gets us as excited as seeing our trays on the TV. We were thrilled to spot some grey trays in this week’s opening episode of ITV’s Broadchurch season 2.  In the scene where DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) goes into the courtroom he passes through a security check where he puts his Blackberry into a grey deep tray at the scanner in the fictional Wessex County Court.

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Broadchurch is ITV’s award winning crime thriller set in the picturesque seaside town of Broadchurch, featuring DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller. You can read more and catch up with the latest episode here.

 

BBC’s Fran Scott to deliver the Gratnells keynote speech at the ASE annual conference

We’re delighted that we have managed to book BBC Science presenter Fran Scott to attend the ASE Annual Conference in January and present the Gratnells Keynote Speech on the Saturday of the Conference.

After completing her MSci in Neuroscience, Fran worked at the Science Museum in London where she discovered that enthusing young people about science was much more fun than sitting in a lab. She has since forged a successful career as a ‘science translator’ touring her live shows and appearing in several series for CBBC, BBC Learning and BBC Worldwide. As with all her work, expect an exciting, inspiring and colourful presentation!

Fran’s presentation is titled: Igniting the Imagination. In television you can have just 3 minutes of screen time to capture viewers’ imagination.  Having worked in children’s science TV for many years, Fran knows just how to do this, especially when it comes to Science. Here, she’ll share her top tips on making Science entertaining, whilst still remaining true to the subject, a skill that’s easily transferable back to the classroom.

We will also be showcasing our latest products. The recently-launched SmartCase is already proving a winner and is perfect for both primary and secondary school science kits. (Also for field work where datalogging materials and equipment are needed.) The SmartCase has been designed to fit into the same runners used on all Gratnells frames and trolleys. Also the new StopSafe runners will be unveiled. Drop by and take a look!

 

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The Association for Science Education Annual Conference 2015 runs from Wednesday 7 January  to Saturday 10 January at the University of Reading

Exceptional ideas and resources for science teaching at the flagship, four-day conference from ASE. Over 300 sessions dedicated to science education across all subject areas and phases, offering hands-on activities for the classroom and inspiring talks from the forefront of scientific research. Whatever stage you are at in your career, be inspired by world-class ideas for your professional development, with practical learning, sharing best practice and take-home resources. Certified CPD. Book now at www.ase.org.uk/conferences/annual-conference/

Gratnells’ sponsored keynote presentation will be Saturday 10th January @ 11.15am

 

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Yet another TV appearance!

We spotted some more Gratnells trays on the TV this week.  The team from Salvage Hunters were at Kimbolton School in Cambridgeshire and spent some time in the Science Lab. Celebrity antiques dealer Drew Pritchard spotted an old collectors’ cabinet that he considered an antique. In the background is a bank of tray storage units (clearly the real treasure!)

 

 

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Salvage Hunters is broadcast on Quest TV in the UK and follows Drew Pritchard as he criss-crosses the country to search for derelict gems that can be given a new lease of life back at his antiques yard with the help of wife Rebecca, sidekick Tee and his team of renovators, wood carvers, upholsterers and guilders.

You can watch the episode on catch-up here and you can read more about the show here.

Kimbolton School which is featured on the show wrote about the experience on their blog where you can see some behind the scenes photographs.

 

 

Educating the East End

We’re enjoying the latest ‘Educating’ Series. Educating the East End follows the day to day challenges of Jenny Smith and her staff at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow.  As always we spend as much time spotting Gratnells trays in the background as we do watching the stories unfold.

Starring Gratnells Trays!
Starring Gratnells Trays!

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You can find more information about the show here.

Times article on Wooden Furnitiure Manufacturer, Ambic

Although this article ran a while ago in the Times we have only just spotted it.  It’s a very interesting article about School Furniture Manufacturer Ambic Ltd who were facing problems with cash flow as their business is very seasonally biased to the summer holidays (as is ours).  Schools place orders at the end of the school year and then want their new products delivered in time for the new term in September. So additional resources need to be employed to meet the temporarily heightened demand. Ambic used a funding circle instead of a more traditional expensive bank overdraft to raise the funds for increased production.  An inspiring story and you can read the full article here 

It could almost be a Gratnells picture!
It could almost be a Gratnells picture!

Boys will be boys

More Gratnells trays spotted on TV! We were (as always) delighted to spot some Gratnells Trays in a classroom in Channel 4’s Mr Drew’s School for Boys. The trays were the background to a fair amount of fighting and swearing as the programme showed Mr Drew (former star of Educating Essex) trying to improve the behaviour of a group of unruly 11 year old boys.

 

Gratnells Ltd cannot accept any liabiblty for injuries sustained in the vicinity of our products!
Gratnells Ltd cannot accept any liabiblty for injuries sustained in the vicinity of our products!

“Boys aged 12 and under are now almost six times more likely than girls to be kicked out of school, while 90% of young offenders were previously excluded from school.

Inspirational headteacher Stephen Drew from Educating Essex wants to help 11 boys whose behaviour is threatening their future by enrolling them – and their parents – in a residential summer school like no other. Mr Drew has been dealing with challenging boys and their parents for 15 years, but with the families living on site, this is a first.

With his crack team of behaviour expert Tracey Campbell and inspirational teachers Dominic Volante, Lindsay Skinner, Mark Grist and Ben Vidler, can Mr Drew get the boys to unlock their true potential before it’s too late?

And can their parents confront their sons’ behaviour and face up to their own shortcomings?”

The programme was shown on Channel 4 earlier this year and more information and clips can be found on the Ch4 website.

 

Mad Fat Gratnells Trolleys

We were pleased to spot another one of our products in a TV show again recently. In Channel 4’s My Mad Fat Teenage Diary, lead character Rae was seen visiting her mother in hospital – and what was in the background only one of our medical 501 trolleys. You can still catch the series on 4OD.

 

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You can find out more about the programme which follows the adventures of music mad teenager Rae on the Channel 4 site.

More trays spotted on TV!

As always we love spotting Gratnells products on TV. This Christmas we were thrilled to see some F1 Shallow trays in Greg Davies’ comedy show Man Down.

Man Down is Channel 4’s new comedy series written by and starring Greg Davies as Dan, a childish teacher whose world is on the brink of collapse. Luckily though they have Gratnells trays in his school’s staff room, so all is not complete doom and gloom!

Channel 4’s Man Down starring Greg Davies and Gratnells Trays!

More information on the show can be found on 4oD and you can watch the latest episodes.