My Work experance at Derwent Pencils ( part 1 )

I arrived in Keswick to find that I had to dress in a shirt & tie plus a white coat. Told that if I’m serious about working at the pencil factory for the week, then I have to look the part.

We set off in the car to drive to the factory at Workington. I got my photo taken outside the factory – looking a bit nervous about the work that I’m about to do. It was a bit windy so I had to lean back in those bushes!

Anyway, I started off by making the ‘leads’. They call them strips here though – I’ve got the jargon sorted out now. I got to press the button to dispense the clay into the mixer.

Then I had to watch the pressure gauges on the mixers to make sure everything was OK.

The worst bit of my week came next as I had to clean out the mixer ready for the next colour. Took me ages.

The coloured pencil mix looks like green plasticine to me – hope it writes OK.

Once the mix is extruded into ‘strips’ these are rolled in cans to dry them. I had to dance a bit on the top of the rolling cans to keep my feet.

I couldn’t go into the woodwork department to see the strips being put into wood as it is really noisy and there were no ear defenders small enough for me. BUT I did get my photo taken on top of a batch of newly made pencils.

Next I helped to paint the pencils, although I did almost get thrown out with the scrap as I inadvertently rested in a scrap box for a while.

I was helping to ‘dip’ colours on the ends of the pencils, but the smell of the paint was a bit strong & I had to have a rest on the trolley. Fell asleep for a short while – almost got the sack.

After that they decided I should go into the packing department. Boy that was hard work. Look at the mountains of tins I packed.

I did so much more I need another blog entry to fit it all in later

Sirius x

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