The National Festival of Making

by Eleanor Spensley

The National Festival of Making

Taking place over two festival days in May, with long term projects running throughout the year, The National Festival of making takes over the streets of Blackburn with music, markets, street food, art, performance, tours, talks and above all, an eclectic mix of making experiences for everyone to enjoy.

We took up a large space in the STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, arts & technology) tent along side BAE, UCLAN, Blackburn College & Future U. We took our exhibition machine affectionately called the Whirligig and a hand cranked flexible screw to demonstrate our first piece of equipment and educate and inspire young minds.

Saturday brought glorious sunshine and attendees were out enjoying the mix of educational and crafty stalls. We had a very busy day demonstrating the hand crank flexible screw conveyor to children and adults. IT conveys coffee from a small hopper up the flexible tube via the spiral and into the bucket. We set a challenge to convey an accurate 500g of coffee in 1minute. This was to educate children about how the spiral works but also show that engineering is often about precision and not speed.

Successful participants left with sweets and a certificate to show off to their friends and family. Often parents and grandparents also had a go!

Across the two days, twelve members of staff volunteered their time to talk about our company and inspire potential young engineers. From young to old, everyone had a great day out and hopefully learned something about Spiroflow as a local manufacturer and engineering company.