Moulton Seas End inventor makes second squirrel feeding house
Madcap inventor and Spalding Guardian columnist John Ward delighted readers last year when he shared pictures with us of a squirrel feeding house he had built in his garden.
So what has the former Monster Raving Loony Party member done during lockdown? He’s made another one.
John had built the original when squirrels visiting his garden started taking food left out for the birds. He started putting nuts out for the squirrels on their own table but then birds mounted their own raids.
John, of Moulton Seas End, explains: “Having built a house last year for our small ‘fan club’ of grey squirrels that pop in to our garden on a regular basis – Sid, Sybil and baby Buster – I decided during the lock-down to build another one.
“After a few weeks of messing about on and off, the end product is ‘Gladstone’, in the shape of a railway engine.”
The train’s name is derived from one of John’s favourite films – the 1937 black and white classic comedy ‘Oh, Mr Porter!’, in which the ‘non-speaking star’ of the film is a railway engine called Gladstone.
The engine is 33 inches long, 12 inches wide and 15 inches tall and stands just over 54 inches high on its central wrought iron base.
The structure is made from a combination of MDF fibre board, plywood and general wood found from odd items such as chair legs.
The coal in the bunker is odd lumps of cut up bits of wood, coated in waterproof glue, then painted.
The front boiler section is made from a disused empty plastic paint can and the front of the boiler is an odd grey plastic saucer with a screw top from a milk carton.
The Gladstone name signs on each side are made from a discarded DVD case, cut in half, with letters from a pound shop.
The chimney is a cigarette ashtray and the access ladder is made from two broom handles with the remains of a skirting board cut to form the treads or steps.
John added: “It’s now open for use and the gang are getting used to their new feeding station as they clamber up the ladder to get to the assorted nuts just in front of the boiler doors.
“We now have the original house near our dining room window with Gladstone near our kitchen window.”