Since becoming my own boss a few years ago I’ve picked up some strange pieces of work. But this has to perhaps be the strangest.
I’ve just finished writing an audio guide for a Stannah factory – that’s right, the people who make the chair lifts for stair cases.
Do you know, it’s been an absolutely fascinating process. No word of a lie. They are such lovely people at Stannah – it’s been a family-owned business for over 100 years. They’re based in Andover and it’s been a joy to go and visit them a few times, to see how their world-famous stair lifts are made.
I never thought I’d know as much as I now do about steel fabrication, paint plants, rail bending technology and light-industry in general. It’s fascinating how many processes and checks and balances go into producing something like a stair lift.
The question everyone has asked me is – who is it for? Who wants to go on a factory tour? Good question. It’s not as if it’s Cadbury World. They asked me, through the lovely people at ATS Heritage, to put together to create a cohesive tour of their factory that told a story, rather than what they offered before which was rather disjointed. While the guys on the factory floor know a lot about how their machines work, they are not professional story-tellers – which I guess I am. So, with them, I structured a tour that I thought made sense and wrote it all up.
We’re recording an audio version of the tour now, but we’ve also provided Stannah with cue cards, so that they can listen to the tour and then deliver it themselves.
I’ve learned a huge amount on this project and I’ve met some lovely people. In fact, if anyone else wants a tour writing for a place that you might not think needs one, I’d be happy to come and have a nosy round!
Happy New Year all.