George Entwhistle, a patents clerk by day, had always enjoyed tinkering. The trouble was, tinkering could be a somewhat noisy activity. Living as he did in a terraced property, he had to contend with frequent complaints from neighbours and visits from members of the constabulary.
In consequence, he’d been banned from hammering, sawing, welding or producing anything with a tendency to explode between the hours of 8pm and 10am, and all day on Sundays. This, given the long hours he worked at the patents office, made it difficult for him to achieve anything of note. George felt cheated by life.
All this changed, though, the day he realised that the blocked up door in the sitting room did not, as he’d always imagined, lead to the parlour. Careful measuring and still more careful (and virtually silent) plan drawing showed that there was a two and a half foot gap between the blocked door and the parlour wall.
Working only between the hours of 7.30 and 8 in the evening, George carefully prised open the mysterious door and discovered, to his great amazement, a staircase leading down. Eagerly, he availed himself of an oil lamp and the poker from the fireplace, and cautiously descended.
Imagine George’s surprise and delight as he discovered a further door at the base, which opened quite easily, revealing a large cellar!
Certainly it was cold and uninviting, but the walls were thick. George raced upstairs, grabbed his noisiest intruder alarm – one of his most unpopular inventions amongst the neighbours during the testing stage – and took it down to his newly discovered domain. Here he set it off and left it in the cellar, shutting the door behind him and returning to the sitting room. Despite the deafening clang of bells and shriek of whistles echoing around the empty space below, there was virtually no sound to be heard from either the sitting room or parlour. Despite it being 8.30, not a single neighbour banged on the wall or hammered on his front door.
“Eureka!” exclaimed George.
“Quiet in there or I’ll summon a constable!” came an angry shout from the occupant of number 28.
From that day onward, George worked to transform the cellar into a tinker’s workshop. He extended the heating pipes downwards to power a boiler, which not only heated the workshop, but allowed him to brew a much-needed cup of tea from time to time. He constructed a doorbell with a wire connecting it to the front of his house, so that callers could be heard. He made himself a shelf and workbench and even installed a clock and mirror. The result was a commodious and most agreeable work space. George was a happy man.
He is currently busying himself with constructing a clockwork time machine. He’d long had a plan, gleaned from a combination of the failed ideas of several other tinkers. Working in a patents office did have certain advantages.
As you can see, his contraption is well underway, and he’s able to fire it up for short periods.
“Only a matter of time,” George mutters to himself, smiling slightly at his own wit, “Now that I no longer have to suffer time restraints, soon I shall be the master of time!”
Time will tell…
Should you wish to inspect George’s cellar workshop and the items he is creating there, do come to any of the Steampunk-Shrunk stalls at various events over the coming months.
The details of venues, dates and times can be found on the home page of this website.
Oh, and if you come along, do ask George to demonstrate the time machine. He loves to show off his workmanship.