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Nine metres of tarpaulin is bigger than you think

Well, it's bigger than I thought, anyway!

As I mentioned in my previous post, Fintrano is supporting this year's MK Can appeal, run by MK Food Bank.

Now, as you can see from the sweet gilet I'm rocking in these photos, the Fintrano logo is fairly straightforward, being white on blue. What is a lot less straightforward is the logistical task of sourcing and storing 774 cans of food. That's 373 kilograms.

If I made a tower of cans as tall as me, I'd need 43 of those towers to store them all. And I'm pretty bloody tall!

If I made a tower of cans as tall as me, I'd need 43 of those towers to store them all

Luckily, I have some good friends at St Mark's Meals, who partner with the Food Bank to feed hungry children in Milton Keynes. They can easily get through 774 cans in a week, so I offered to buy a week's worth, and they agreed to store them for us. Win-win!

The final job, then, was sourcing and marking-up a big enough tarpaulin. Sourcing it was easy, thanks to Amazon. Marking it up was the final challenge.

And so it was that my daughter and I ended up at Heron's Lodge in Great Holm, unwrapping the largest single sheet I'd ever seen. Almost 600 square feet of pristine blue tarpaulin. It almost seemed a shame to draw in Sharpie all over it, but needs must.

Josie and I got to work folding, measuring and drawing. I hadn't realised that 9 metres of tarpaulin is smaller than that once they have folded it over to reinforce the edges, so we had to do some hasty recalculation, but ultimately, we got there.

Now that the tarpaulin is marked up, we have a reasonable chance getting the cans in place in the 25 or so minutes of flying time that the drone provides on a single battery. Getting an aerial photo of the logo is a must, of course, but I'm really hoping that we can get a timelapse shot of us assembling the logo as well, which means a single shot.

(So far, we haven't actually placed any cans on the tarp, but I'm an optimist, and I'm 90% sure it will be alright on the night.)

Roll on the end of March, when we will be pulling all the elements together to create the logo for real, followed by a grateful donation of the cans to St Mark's Meals and the Food Bank. 

No doubt there will be a blog post or two to celebrate!

The photos above were taken by the exceedingly talented Bella and Abi Oxley. Thank you both!

About the author


Iain is a software developer with over 25 years in the industry. He runs Prominent Media, a software company based in Milton Keynes. Fintrano is his brainchild.