PARTY GIVERS: A site for those who want somewhere unbelievably unique.
When we gave a reception for H.M. The Prince of Wales, at our inauguration, we pitched our catering tent on the grass next to the engine house as it gave easy access to the entrance. For your party, we suggest drinks on the driving floor, possibly with engine working, and dancing in the arena on the floor below. We did have a sneaky idea for a second “dance” area. Your bands or discos can choose for themselves where they go – and there are no locals to complain about the noise! Your lighting plan can create as many atmospheres as any self- respecting designer can conceive. The engine house has central heating! No limit to the power supply available, no limit to parking, absolute privacy, toilets of course ‘tho’ outside the engine house, and even a disabled lift. The noise of the engine in steam won’t drown out the noise of the party’s muttered inanities; it is warm (and warming); it smells gently of warm engine oil.
BUT: There are dangers for the unwary (the tipsy!) in the heights, in oily, moving or projecting machinery, in steep and narrow stairs. There are genuinely no-go areas for safety reasons. Stewards will be needed plus a gateman to let you in and out. There has to be a night-time time limit if only for our team of ancients, who will be there in support and to drive the engine.
RECEPTIONS: A more sedate affair: a product launch, a drinks party, a visit for an interested group, light relief for those at a local convention. (It may be cheaper to hold your conference in a tent next to the engine house.) The engine in steam would add interest to the occasion!
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