It’s time for the annual team event that results in us getting very dirty and sweaty (and being treated with plenty of tea, biscuits and cooked meals): the Avon Tyrrell weekend! We have been returning to Avon Tyrrell for an onsite working weekend for the past eight years – each year we get a new challenge, have lots of fun, and help to improve the center’s facilities in the name of charity.
This year we were put to work erecting new fencing and creating a path to the new archery area, which also needed a new shelter. Although the brief sounded simple enough, the team can attest to plenty of back-breaking work – especially the fencing. I had no idea that digging holes in clay and mixing concrete was quite so tough!
Avon Tyrrell is a fabulous outdoor activity centre based in the New Forest: https://www.avontyrrell.org.uk They are also part of UK Youth: http://www.ukyouth.org/, a national charity providing opportunities to young people. Mercury1 have been supporting both UK Youth and Avon Tyrrell since 2010, and we know how worthwhile their work is: it’s a pleasure to be able to help them with whatever we can.
Remote working can be lonely, so at M1 we like to get together regularly for a catch-up and some team-building fun. This meet we decided to visit the new escape room ‘A hidden past’, at Exciting Escapes in Southampton (https://twitter.com/Excitingescapes). The opportunity to run identical rooms concurrently made a head-to-head contest inevitable, and the group eagerly split into two teams ready to battle it out and exit their room before the other.
My team’s glee at finishing in 39 minutes, and seemingly first, quickly dissipated when we realised that we had been squarely beaten… and that Phil’s team was hiding around the corner having secretly watched ours scrambling around for clues! Although we would have loved to have won, we were happy to discover that their escape was made in a record-breaking 31 minutes – average room time was 50 minutes, according to Dave (the owner)!
I maintain that a full English breakfast slowed us down, and that a rematch would be much closer, but, for safety, perhaps next time we won’t put puzzle specialists Dom, Phil and Gem in the same team!