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.
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
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.
We were delighted to spot this picture on twitter from one of our customers. Little Dreams took this picture of some birds who had made a nest in one of our trays. Their Company Secretary had round it in her shed! Just goes to show just how versatile the trays are!
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:
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!
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.
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
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.
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!)
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.
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!