Durham Box elves hard at work this Christmas!

Published: 4th December 2018

When local mum and train enthusiast, Rachel Pickles, had the idea of making a train out of cardboard for two schools in her area to share, a friend suggested contacting Durham Box to ask for a donation of a few sheets of corrugated board to help with the project.

On making contact, Rachel showed her train design to Durham Box MD Mike Morris, who in-turn discussed the concept with Design/Technical Manager, Anthony ‘Anth’ Moss.

“My idea was to show the children what a little bit of creative talent and some cardboard can achieve,” said Rachel.  “It was also about design concepts and being able to flatpack something quite large so that it can be practically stored and re-used.  I wanted to advocate getting back to basics with play materials, i.e. away from plastic and electronics and on to cardboard, which can build fantastic things and also be easily decorated by the children.”

Having looked in detail at what Rachel had in mind, Mike thought the idea was a little too ‘adventurous’ and offered the services of the Durham Box design department to create the train on-site at Durham Box.

Anth took the lead therein, spending a couple of days mocking up ideas, providing CAD drawings, cutting and gluing the train together. The final design had to fold flat and be transportable, which was achieved.

“I wanted to give the children something that will excite them, but at the same time still leave some parts a blank canvas to allow them to be a part of the project and add their own ideas. My daughter is 8 (and my biggest critic) and I basically made something she would like and showed her some photos. I’m pleased to say she gave me the thumbs up,” said Anth.

Once finished, the train and its 3 carriages, complete with personalised carriage plates, were delivered by Durham Box to St John’s Church of England School in Shildon, where it will be shared with children from nearby Croft Church of England School.

On seeing the result, Rachel said: “I am so absolutely delighted with the train! It has exceeded all expectations.  I was a little bit speechless when I saw it and nearly burst into tears!

“I am so happy and impressed with Durham Box. Mike and his team have been extremely kind, generous and talented and I know the children will love it,” she added.