EDitorial ± 29-May-2001

Lead Time

Obtained special dispensation from the Burghers of Ipswich (please apply at least four weeks in advance) to leave the town borders, and consequently spent a fun, relaxing and filling weekend in far-off Cumbria. Big thanks to the family Hopkins of Sedbergh for letting out their top storey to us. We went to college together way back in the 80s, doncha know. Very much like The Big Chill but without Kevin Costner and the funeral.

Drab & drizzly first thing Saturday, so headed off down the M6 to Keswick in search of indoor amusement. Where we soon found ourselves outside the Cumberland Pencil Museum. Oh yes.

Pencil factory

Now, possibly that doesn't sound like your idea of a good time. But I'd driven past on a previous visit, and I was intrigued. Once inside you head through the replica graphite mine, as you do, before entering the main part of the display.

Car from pencil factory

Here's a free tip. If you really want to digest a few key facts about an historic building or museum, ask for the children's activity sheet. NB This can be less awkward if you own a ready-made family. So, ready for some Rexel facts?

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else
Spectrum blue 3200, light violet 2600, imperial purple 2300:

  1. H=hard, B=black, but you already knew that, didn't you?
  2. quality (e.g. Cumberland) pencils are made of cedar wood
  3. the three main parts of a pencil are the core, wood case and finish
  4. oh, and the longest pencil in the world is 7 feet: actually they were going for a new world record on Bank Holiday Monday, i.e. yesterday, so it might well be a bit longer now

Be seeing you!