The aim of the Blyth Challenge is to build a wind-powered device from recycled materials. These can be very varied, as engineer Bill Graham, one of the organisers, explains.
“It could be packaging materials such as cardboard, plastic milk bottles or polystyrene foam, or it could be fabrics such as old clothes, bed sheets, dish towels, or polythene sheets. Blyth’s own pioneering turbine had cloth sails.”
Bill, who lives in Forres in Moray and is an inventor with several patents, says that the reason for using waste material is to stimulate thinking about recycling.
“Other possibilities might be waste plastic components from discarded toys or domestic appliances, or metals such as steel sheets, bars and tubes, ball bearings, or springs. You might want to use wood, like garden furniture, kitchen cabinets, or fence posts, and there’s also the possibility of electric wiring from old appliances.
“There are some exceptions where new material will be needed, for instance glues, or nails or screws, or thread, sticky tape, paint or rubber bands.
“It’s open to any number of adults or children to form a group to enter the challenge, so it’s something for families or for friends or school groups. We want to encourage people to enter in whatever way they prefer, and to think creatively – very much in the spirit of Blyth himself.”