Left: Me posing inside the igloo all set up and ready to go. Right: Charlie and I with TFest organiser Steph and Britiain's Got Talent star Damon Scott
We met the lovely Steph Duffy, organiser of Salisbury's T1Fest, when she came with a team from Wiltshire Life magazine to play Spectre. Once they had escaped Spectre, she stuck around to tell us about the event she was organising on Bank Holiday Sunday and asked if we wanted to get involved. Well, how could we say 'no'? Agreeing in principle to bring a game with us or at least to donate an auction prize. This was such a good cause, raising awareness and money for Type 1 Diabetes.
A few weeks had passed and with Spectre busy, we didn't think we would have the time to build something from scratch to take with us so settled on just offering the prize. But Steph was having none of it: 'But you guys are so brilliant, and I want you to show off what you're all about," she said. Basically she flattered us to the point we couldn't say no. So the challenge was on for Charlie. We knew we were going to be in an igloo for the day, we knew the space we had.
What could he come up with in a week?
Using resources we already had was a good place to start. 'POD', the portable outdoor game we use for team building was ready made. It has a countdown clock which automatically starts when the players open the lid. All we had to do then, was expand the storyline to go with it and build
Just like when he's in the workshop building our next Salisbury escape room 'Compendium', I thought it best to leave 'the genius ' to do what he does best. Taking the lessons
we have learnt from our escape room in Salisbury, we decided that the only written information would be the storyline. There were would no maths or numbers-based puzzles - just pure and simple challenges. We wanted to promote escape rooms in general, not just our own. Many people STILL don't know what they are - so each puzzle Charlie created was 'typical' of what you would find in escape rooms everywhere.
I'm not going to give away what puzzles he created - as we would like you to see them at an
event in Salisbury soon. Somehow he managed to make it completely portable and even more of a miracle was the fact we could fit it into a Mini!
So we turned up at Salisbury Rugby Club at 10am ready to move into our inflatable igloo. The day before, the sun had been shining; Bank Holiday Monday was supposed to be like a summer's day.
But this day - the one that Steph had worked so hard towards - it was bucketing it down. And it didn't stop. Stallholders pulled out, food vendors pulled out, the dog show was cancelled, but who was left persevered. The bands braved the rain and wind as did families and friends who still wanted to support the cause.
It was no surprise that a lot of visitors wanted to come and play our 10-minute taster escape
room - it was indoors out of the rain, after all. Out of the 24 teams that played, only a handful of them had even heard of escape rooms. They left buzzing and keen to give the full 60-minute experience a try. It was a long day and by the time night fell we decided it was time to pack up our taster room and dry ourselves off. The rain had stopped, the stage was lit and the music continued on into the night. It's fair to say everyone there held their own and stuck it out against our typical British weather. It was the second ever T1Fest - Steph told us that last year was exactly the
same - rain! So, it simply has to be that third time's a charm.
Live Escape Salisbury will be there, for sure.