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Inventors Fair Big Red

Welcome to the 117th Inventors Fair, and prepare to be amazed with the wild and wacky inventions across the field. Once complete you can then write your own inventions and put them into the tale too.
This trail begins in the village gardens at the Dove Cote entrance.
Chapter one


‘Roll up, Roll up, the inventors fair is here'.

‘Come see the miraculous, the incredible, the fan-tab-u-lous' announced the orator from his tiny wooden podium. He then leans forward and whispers to you ‘I know that fantabulous is not a word, but this is an inventors fair and if you can't invent a few words here and there, then what's the point, ay!' His moustache twitches in excitement which seems to accentuate the shiny baldness of his head.

‘Buy your tickets here' he announces to the crowd gesticulating in a strange flourish of twisting wrists towards the booth and turnstile.

‘Now good people, ladies and gentlemen, have you been acquainted with the astounding Mr Arac, who will be demonstrating his incredible Home Spider Dentistry Kit or what about Dr Faustus and his amazing security device, The Magic Void'. He pauses for effect before he continues ‘it's a new type of safe which hides your valuables inside a surprising quirk of space-time itself.' Go see him, he's at stall number 253, but then he mutters to you under his breath ‘I suggest you don't let him Magic Void your pet, last one came back a little squishy and the boys keeper was quite disgruntled.'

Suddenly you have a ticket and are through the barrier, and there before you is stall - upon stall - upon stall, this is the inventors fair. Tents and turrets are pitched everywhere, flags and banners billow as smartly suited visitors amble between the stalls. Noises fizz from displays where plumes of pink and purple smoke waft from curious contraptions to the left, right and just about everywhere.

A voting paper is then thrust into your hand and you notice it has six spaces for nominations, this is what you need to fill in and post before you exit.

You glance back and see the sun glint off the Orators shiny head as he disappears back through the gates. His wrists spin above his glistening head as he funnels and encourages more paying visitors through the turnstiles.

Now to the fair.
Go to the Horse Gate.
Chapter two

Gastronaught Experience

Just between the stall with ‘knicker stickers - you'll never get them in a twist again' and ‘Mr Slow Coach - the world's first professional slug trainer' is a stall which is double wide. A boat sail is hoisted high with the words ‘The Gastonaught Experience' below which there is a projection of a low quality film, perhaps a live stream.

‘And here we have our two new volunteers,' as two young men in a flat caps step up from the crowd. The technicians fit the skinner in a heavy diving suit who is lifted by a wooden crane over a huge tank of murky green fluid. The volunteer waves confidently to the crowd as he is lowered down and the projection on the screen behind becomes very green as he descends. The gastronaught puts his thumbs up and you see him grinning through the armoured tank walls and his metal helmet.

The tank lid is secured down and then bolted whilst his friend waits behind a curtain oblivious.

Down from ten the presenter counts with the crowd joining in on the final three, two, one, zero. Then on the final digit the lights on the sides of the tank begin to glow, the water clears a little then bubbles begin to rise making it look like the fluid is slowly boiling!

Then all of a sudden the fluid is gone and with it the man in the suit, but the presenter is turning a little tap and drawing off a glass of pink fluid. Inside there appears to be a tiny toy man but in the projection everyone could see a very large presenter peering into the lens.

The volunteer gastronaught has been shrunk!

But what happened next was even more incredible for the presenter took the glass around the curtain to the other volunteer, passing it to him to drink! A huge image of teeth then appears on the screen behind as he knocks the drink back.

The shrunken gastronaught was swallowed down in one!

On the projection screen the film shows the view from the gastronaught's perspective who was now swimming in gastric juices, he was in his friends' belly!

The presenter then placed a metal funnel to the volunteer's belly and positively shouted down it ‘Can you hear me?' And at this the gastronaught put his thumb up. ‘Great, now try to make your way along the tunnel we have about twenty minutes before you return to your real size and your friend here would rather you complete your journey with a successful evacuation before the time is up'.

Behind a timer begins to count down and the reality of what's just happened dawns on the volunteer, colour drains from his face as he turns to see the screen behind.

‘Now not to worry young man' said the presenter, ‘I am sure your friend can find his way past some of these . . . chunks.' And the crowd laugh but you have a terrible feeling that this isn't going to play out very well so make a swift exit.

But before you move on make a mark on your voting sheet.
Go behind the Mulberry Tree.
Chapter three

Super Splice Device

This black and white striped tent has a red ribbons holding the door flap open and inside it is thick with smoke and steam. The crowd jostles to get a better view so you squeeze your way through to the front where you see three large cages. The central one is connected to the other two by a series of copper pipes which reminds you of an old fire engine.

Technicians squeeze a live zebra into the first cage and place single daffodil in the second.

The cages are slammed shut as the orator shouts ‘Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to be bedazzled for before you stands ‘The Super Splice Device' and at this he throws a handle and a deafening noise comes from the central mechanism.

The lights dim as it sucks on the electric and the zebra begins to kick wildly against his bars, the operator lets go of the handle and the machine spins down until it is quiet in the tent. Slowly he walks over to this central cage, everyone is peering at it, trying to see what's inside. A chain is pulled and the cage door is slowly lifted with the operator delicately putting his hand into the darkness. You are so close you can almost touch it yourself.

As he lifts it aloft there is a gasp by the crowd, for what was once a single daffodil in the second cage seems to be combined now with the zebra from the first, he is holding a flower with a green stem but black and white striped petals.

An enormous round of applause begins as the orator says ‘Behold, the incredible splice device has taken the beauty of the flower' and the daffodil's cage lights up ‘and spliced it with the zebra'. The lights then go on in the zebra cage and the animal walks out a little dazed but in seemingly good health.

‘Now a volunteer' the operator says and starts scanning the crowd, but you are out of there before he can pop you in one of his cages!

What did you think of this invention, write your notes on your voting slip before you move on.
Go to the highest corner of the larger walled garden.
Chapter four


This stall is very simple, there are no plumes of smoke or fancy flames, just a small trestle table and on which are little paper packets of ‘ible-dibbles– the wondrous memory pill'

A young boy was working this stall and selling quite a few packets.

‘Yes sir, they are very simple, just take one a day for a week and your memory will improve.' The gent in question said ‘I'll have two please', dropped his money on the table and opened the first pack immediately. ‘Just one a day sir,' said the boy but the man upended the pack and ate the lot in one gulp.

The boy watched him carefully and then said ‘will that be all sir' the gent looked a little pale and sipped the water which was offered, but as he did so, one of the pills rolled across the table to you. You pick it up slowly and notice it's about the size of a pea, green, but not bright green, more earthy like . . . And then you realise what they are but before you manage to say anything the boy gives you a kick under the table. It stops you short because the next gent is buying another two packs and drops his money on the table too, this is obviously a profitable invention.

But the boy knows what you know, and that these little pills are in fact rabbit droppings! The gents move away, pleased with their purchase as the boy leans over and says sorry ‘you were about to give up my game' he said.

‘You can't sell them rabbit droppings as memory pills, it's a con' you say.

‘No it's not' said the boy ‘those men will never forget the week they ate rabbit poo'

He does have a point, so before you move on make a note on your voting slip about this boy's invention.
Go to the secret arbor with corner benches under a vine.
Chapter five

Toffee Apple Machine

The very first stall has a wide banner with the words ‘The Incredible Professor Peach' and underneath these it says ‘The one and only - Worm Whisperer' so you move on by without stopping!

The next stall has orange billowing flags shading what appear to be several soil filled fish tanks. But inside are thousands of bugs, and a technician is scooping up ladleful's which he is feeding into a brass funnel on a machine which looks like an iron radiator. The on looking crowd is drawn in as he slams the ladle down dinner lady style and the apparatus begins its work. The sign behind says simply ‘Sweet Sensations' followed by a little tag line of, ‘you won't believe how good they taste'.

Valves hiss and thrum as internal mechanisms process the live worms, first a hideous grinding noise, then a clanking, followed by a thunk sound where all the gauges momentarily throw themselves into the red zone and the eager crowd (including the technician) all take a quick step back. Then a fresh apple drops into the machine and seconds later a gentle ping sounds, a flap opens and along a conveyor belt appears a perfect toffee apple.

The technician then lifts it, turns it in the sun light and marvels at this extraordinary feat before passing it to a waiting child who tentatively takes a lick! The crowd gasps for a second waiting for the child's response, but it's obviously good as she smiles and takes a bite. Suddenly all the kids start jumping saying me, me, me, and the technician eagerly ladles more bugs into the contraption.

What do you think of the display, is it a winning machine? Write your review up quickly now before he gives you a toffee apple!
Go to the door which leads into the Tithe Barn.
Chapter six


You pass quite a few exhibits in the next hour, one called ‘the Big Ear' which appeared to be exactly what it said and would help you listen over great distances. They obviously hadn't invented the telephone yet!

Another stall was called the thinking machine, which listened and thought but little more. The inventor seemed embarrassed as he'd yet to invent the answer machine, which even he admitted would be far more useful.

Then finally you come across the Boot-o-matic an incredible machine which was lacing up boots on volunteers left right and centre. You sit in the chair yourself with your shoe laces undone and the tiny little machine ties them up in a flash. You are so impressed that you undo them quickly again and the Boot-O-Matic has them re done, just like that.

Of all the inventions that would save some time in the morning perhaps this was one which would in fact be truly useful. But then you notice the person getting into the chair after you with Velcro straps on his shoes and a cheeky grin on his face, I wonder how the Boot-O-Matic will deal with that!

So make a mark on your voting slip, have a chat between each other as to what you think.

Now over to the exit to meet the Orator and hand in your voting slips.
Go to the pedestal flower pot in the lower garden.
Chapter seven

Snow Globe

On the way to the next exhibit you pass several people with what would appear to be snow in their hair, which seems very odd with the weather in the way it is. Then you arrive at ‘the human snow globe' which is a huge glass dome and inside you can see several people walking around a little ruined castle making a snow man and throwing snow balls. Out of the top of the little folly, snow is whizzing about and it looks very convincing indeed but there is not enough space for sledging which is a shame.

On the table are hundreds of smaller snow globes just like the larger one, visitors coming out of the big dome are running over to the table and shaking the globes ‘there you are Dad' said the boy ‘oh and this one has Mum in too'. And sure enough the miniature snow globes had tiny captured 3D tableaus of the family playing in the snow just moments before.

‘Shall we get one for the mantelpiece?' said the father and the boy nodded.

Before you move on make a note on your voting slip as to what you think of this invention.
Go back to the Dove Cote gate where our story began.
Chapter eight


The Orator approaches, bald head glistening in the sun.

‘Place your sheets in the box and we'll see who the Inventor Supremo is in the 117th inventors fair'.

Is there one invention which is the best in your opinion? Have a discussion now and see which you think is the most impressive, when you have decided then please read on.

‘Good good.' Says the orator as you post your sheets, but suddenly there is a huge sound from the middle of the field, you look over and see a jet of blue flame snatch up into the air. A BOOM follows which is so loud you feel it in your chest, and the orators mouth drops open aghast at what is unfolding.

A flash follows with attendants and visitors running pell-mell away from the ‘Mr Bubbles, double bubble super fizz pop' tent. ‘Run for cover' they shout as people dive behind bales of straw just before the BIG explosion.

The next events seem to happen in slow motion as tents flatten across the field and flags bend horizontally away from the epicentre of Mr Bubbles. Then a black wall sweeps across towards you and there is only a moment to duck before it engulfs you. But thankfully it passes in a moment and you stand again to see the orator is covered head to foot in soot! He turns with mouth still open and moustache intact to the single flash of a reporter's camera.

‘Well it would appear that the 117th inventors fair has come to an abrupt end' he says to you with eyebrows raised as high as they will go.

The next day the local paper lands on your hall carpet with this very photograph, the orator is central, treacle black from head to foot and behind him the stately metal dome of Mr Bubbles is spurting with a mountain of foam.

The headline runs with ‘Inventor's Bubble Trouble. Hundreds flee from catastrophic fizzy pop explosion at the 117th inventors fair'.

To the left of the picture you can see yourself looking rather surprised.

What an event!

The End
Chapter nine

Further Thoughts

What inventions would you have liked to have seen at the fair?

Are they big or small, can they be held in your hand, or carried on your back?

Is it edible, totally credible or just downright daft!

Have a talk amongst yourselves whilst the other groups catch up.
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