4 Unusual Fringe Tips for Companies Heading to Edinburgh

Edinburgh during the Fringe. Photo by Michal Ziembicki.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with dozens of Fringe shows, across six different years. Not only moving goods, but also supporting marketing, and production. This has given me excellent insight into having a successful Fringe, and I thought I’d share four lesser considered bits of advice, to make your run one to remember!

1# – How will you get all your show items to the venue?

Some accommodation can be a long way from the venue. Even if it’s walkable, what happens when you need to move your props, and set, there? Or bring in another box of flyers? Especially as many venues now, such as C, refuse to store companies printed materials during the run.

This is something I can help out with!

2# – What will you do with leftover flyers, and posters?

Hundreds of flyers, preparing to promote!
If you always wanted flyer based wallpaper, the Fringe is your gold mine! Photo by Steve Greer.

Most companies have a few hundred, if not thousand, flyers, or posters, left at the end. Venues charge you if you leave them behind, and you can’t exactly dump thousands of bits of papers with your face on fly, and hope Edinburgh Council don’t notice. Trust me, they do, and will track you down to fine you!

At the end of the Fringe, I can help you locate a free recycling point, and drop your things there, so they can be recycled, and become more flyers next year! Ah, the circle of promotion!

3# – Can you accommodate additional performances?

As well as your own show, you might be invited to take part in Fringe highlight, or ensemble shows. These are wonderful opportunities for publicity, but can be hard to fit in around your own time slot. Especially if you have bulky costumes, or props, that are essential to your performance. I can help move your items quickly from your venue, and then back, all in time for curtain up!

4# – Are you prepared for flashers?

Posters with review flashers attached.
Flashers. I mean, the white paper additions with the stars, you, and your dirty mind! =D Photo by Zoetnet.

This isn’t what it sounds like. Flashers are the little paper reviews people staple onto flyers, and stick to posters, to show a recent review. As the Fringe progresses these become critical to ensuring you stand out from the crowd. They are generally just black text, on white paper, consisting of a quote, stars, and the source. It is easy to make them on a computer, print one sheet out, then get it photocopied loads of times at a printers. Keep in mind you will need to cut them, and staple them on. So ensure you have a guillotine, or a good scalpel & steel ruler, as well as lots of staples! (And more than one stapler if you want a team to work together on it).

I can collect your printed flashers for you, and even design them for you on the move, to give you more time to raise the audience numbers!

Those are just a few ideas I’ve never seen mentioned elsewhere. I hope they help you have a great Fringe. I provide a small van support service in Edinburgh during August, from as little as £15. Give me a call on 07532 827 854, use this form, or email oz@mrtvan.com. Please note that I am not guaranteed to be in Edinburgh every moment, my other Scottish customers need me too! So the more notice you give, the more likely I can be there.

Wishing you all sold out crowds, and five star reviews,

Oz    

 

 

 

Get A Load Of This – June 2017

Another month draws to a close, time to share highlights of the weird & wonderful things I’ve had the pleasure of delivering in June 2017!

A brief rest as we wait to gain access.
Kicking back with actor, Chris Duffy, as we wait to gain access to the venue.

1# Theatre Company Props & Set

The amazingly talented, Fear No Colours Theatre Company, were performing previews of their Edinburgh Fringe plays Penetrator, and, Shopping & F**king. I assisted in moving the set from a University of Glasgow rehearsal space, to the Old Hairdressers in Glasgow city centre.

I was kindly invited to view the plays, as you can tell from the titles, they were very adult! I covered my ears for the bad words, and really enjoyed them, particularly Penetrator, which was very funny. They are performing at the Fringe 3 – 12 August – check them out.

If you are a theatre company who needs help moving set, props, costume, or printed materials around during the Fringe, get in touch!   

Don't Blink!
Don’t Blink!

2# Garden Statue from Auction

This lovely Venus style garden statue was collected from auction on behalf of a client. Unfortunately, as a big Doctor Who fan, it reminded me so much of a Weeping Angel I had to keep myself from blinking for over 200 miles! Luckily, I remembered Mr Bean, and propped open my eyelids with matches.  

Tambourine Van outside Brewdog Aberdeen
The Tambourine Van outside Brewdog Aberdeen.

3# Bar for Brewdog

Brewdog are a special company to me. I’m from Aberdeen, and they started close to the Granite City. I watched their tremendous rise, from seeing their first brewed bottles appearing in bars, to opening their own pubs, to world domination! It was a pleasure to move a small bar for them, from the Dundee branch, up to Aberdeen. Even better, the road was closed, so I was able to get a great picture of the Tambourine Van outside!

The outside of the Chippendale Furniture School.
The outside of the Chippendale Furniture School.

4# Antique Refurbished Table  

Set in old farm buildings, amongst the Edinburgh countryside, the Chippendale International School of Furniture is a beautiful, peaceful place to visit. I was collecting a lovely round table, that the school had produced a new top for. It had to be looked after carefully, to ensure there were no scratches on the newly cut wood. I delivered it to a happy client, delighted to have her old table restored to life with the new top.  

Restored table, with a new top, on the original base.
Restored table, with a new top, on the original base.

 

It is nice of you to take the time to read this blog. I enjoy moving a whole range of items, with a particular speciality for delicate, and fragile items. I run a small van at a cheap price, ideal for courier work, small/student removals, furniture, and as you see from this blog, much, much, more! The slogan goes, if it fits – I’ll move it! I work out of Glasgow, serving Scotland, and the UK. To get a quick quote, visit www.mrtvan.com or call me, Oz, on 07532 827 854 – not your usual man with a van!

Have a wicked day,

Oz

10 tips for stress free moving, from a courier!

10 tips for stress free moving, from a courier!

How not to move house
Tip one, if it looks like this, you are doing it wrong.

They say moving is one of the most stressful things you can do. It honestly doesn’t have to be, I do it several times a week (on behalf of my customers), and gathered together some of my best advice to help you when your big day comes!

1# Make a room by room list

Lists are awesome, and satisfying to check off! Make a broad list of all your items, breaking it down by room. This is useful in many ways; you can estimate how many boxes you will need, spot things you might want to donate to charity, or throw away, as well as things you need to buy for your new place! Providing this list when getting a moving quote will also get you a more accurate price, and hopefully, a cheaper one.

2# Start early

Nothing adds more stress than being exhausted on moving day, because you started packing the night before! Start a few weeks before, by packing the things you use least often. Keep things you need handy, as per the next tip…

3# Prepare a survival box

You arrive in your new place, and with all the excitement, you need the toilet. But where is the loo roll? Or the soap? Or a towel!?! Use one box to pack your ‘survival’ items, toiletries, coffee, chargers – all the stuff you need to hand most often. This’ll save you tearing through a pile of boxes in search of your toothbrush! And neatly complements those who prefer to live out of boxes for the first while.  

So True
This is exactly what led to the creation of the survival box!

4# Make use of existing containers

A lot of us have a load of plastic boxes around the house, not to mention suitcases, and rucksacks. Every one of these things can play a part in packing when you move. Most of them are better than the cardboard alternative, and each will save you time, and even money, tracking down a box.

Perfect preparation for this move.
The perfect example of the carefully prepared small move.

5# The right box, for the right item

Rickety ex-supermarket boxes will carry a few items, but you don’t want to fill one with a pile of books, only to have them bury your feet half way down the stairs! Reinforce boxes with tape (gaffer tape holds the world together, remember), and of course…

6# Don’t overload boxes

How heavy is too heavy? Rather than get bogged down by numbers, just make sure you don’t fill a box with more than you can lift. If you break your back on box three of twenty, what good is that?

7# Put heavy things in the bottom of the box

It is never wise to put say, a delicate ornament, underneath your prized bowling ball. Plan how you will fill each box, and always put the heaviest thing in the bottom.

8# Clearly mark boxes

When I was a student, I moved dozens of times. I kept reusing boxes, but didn’t cross out the old labels. So a box would say “kitchen” on the top, “bedroom” on one side, and “bathroom” on the other. It is really difficult to make spaghetti in a bath, so always clearly label your boxes.

Labelling can be fun!
It is hard to resist having a laugh with it though…

9# Put screws, and other bits, in an envelope, and tape it to the item

A 100% genuine bit of Dad advice here. When you disassemble furniture, take down curtain hooks, etc, put the screws & other pieces into an envelope, then masking tape it to the item – this way you never lose anything. Thanks, Dad!

10# Set everything out, ready to be loaded

As you finish packing, start placing your items in preparation to be loaded. Usually large items, and boxes/suitcases go first, with the more oddly shaped items, lamps, TVs, etc, being fitted in around them. Set aside any fragile and delicate items, point them out to your courier, so they can give them special care, and attention.  

Remember, every little of preparation does wonders at the other end, and lets you focus on setting up your wonderful new place! Have a great move when it comes!

I hope there were a few bits in there to help you with your move. I’m Oz, AKA, Mr Tambourine Van Courier Service. I am very passionate about couriering, every item brings a new adventure! I run a small van at a cheap price, ideal for courier work, small/student removals, furniture, and much more. If it fits – I’ll move it! I work in and around Glasgow, central and north east Scotland, as well as down to Manchester, and Newcastle. To get a quick quote, visit www.mrtvan.com or call 07532 827 854 – not your usual man with a van!

Get a load of this! May 2017 Edition

Ever wondered what weird and wonderful things I move? Here are some of the most interesting items I’ve delivered in May 2017!

1# Auction Lot

Visiting any auction house is an adventure! This one had a tonne of funky items on display, from ancient bottles of whisky, to classic cars – my favourite lot was this giant Coca-Cola bottle, designed for a stereo to fit into.

One of only two in the world I was told!

The lot I collected had a variety of items, from precious jewellery, to vintage mirrors, and a Victorian chair. All very special, and highly fragile! I specialise in transporting fragile objects, using a combination of blankets, foam, and straps to keep everything safe & secure.

I also kept my speed under a 100, for a change (joke!!!).  

Picture of an off road mobility chair loaded in the Tambourine Van

2# Off Road Mobility Chair

I am fascinated by machines that move! Hence why I became a courier. This beauty is an off road wheelchair, a really stunning bit of kit. I was bringing it to a holiday park for a gentleman enjoying a break away, and looking forward to heading out on the coastal trails. 

Picture of the mobility scooter strapped in place

Using a telescopic ramp system (provided by client, seen on lower left), it was carefully driven up into my van, before being fully secured for transit.

3# Electric Bike

Sticking with the mean machine theme, I also picked up an electric bike from a garage near Edinburgh, bringing it all the way up to the fair Granite City. A heavy piece of kit, but what cyclist hasn’t occasionally dreamed to giving their legs a rest, and letting a sweet motor move them along!?

4# Paintings, Art Gallery Move  

I had the privilege of moving paintings on display at an art gallery, back to the artist. You have to be so careful with these precious creations. I don’t provide packaging services, only moving services, so these works were pre-wrapped in many layers of bubble wrap, foam, and boxed up. I always have the cartoon fear that somehow I will end up with one on my head, face sticking out of the canvas – it hasn’t happened yet! To help me move paintings extremely carefully, I always pretend they are my children!!! The only thing that makes me sad, is that I never get the chance to see these wonderful works!  

5# Vintage Guitar Amp

The perfect item to compliment a business called, Mr Tambourine Van! A beautiful, fabric coated amplifier. I love music, but can’t play to save myself! So I can’t give you the full run down on this piece of kit, suffice to say if it sounds as pretty as it looks, you’ll be top of pops in no time!

Thanks for visiting, I hope it was fun to find out what I’ve been moving this month.

I’m Oz, AKA, Mr Tambourine Van Courier Service. I run a small van at a cheap price, ideal for courier work, small/student removals, furniture, and as you see from the above, so much more! My slogan is, if it fits – I’ll move it! I work primarily in Glasgow, and service Scotland, but will travel anywhere in the UK for the right price. To get a quick quote, visit www.mrtvan.com or call 07532 827 854 – not your usual man with a van!    

 

5 tips to get the cheapest quote from a courier / man with a van

A chest of drawers being safely covered and secured ahead of transport.
A chest of drawers being safely covered, and secured, ahead of transport.

Want to move house, shift a piece of furniture, or get something from A to B using a courier? I’m Oz, AKA Mr Tambourine Van, a small van courier, and I’ve put together some insider tips on how to get the cheapest quote you can, whilst avoiding hidden charges.

 

1# Clearly state everything you are moving, especially the sizes!

Give the courier a full list of what you are moving, with the sizes being the most important. Why do this? You might have a load that would fit in a smaller van than you imagine, or could be moved by a lone courier. This is the kind of service I provide, and it is a lot cheaper than paying for a two person transit van team. Reversely, if someone turns up to find a lot more to move than suggested, you could end up with a higher bill, or worse, the courier not taking on the job!    

 

2# Give as much detail about the collection / pick up as you can

By giving a courier the exact locations & times for collection / delivery you will get a very accurate price. Does it have to be picked up, or dropped off on a specific time, and date? Tell the courier! You don’t want to spend a load of time ironing out every last detail, only for it to be for nothing when they can’t do the date you need. If you can be flexible, make sure and say, it might be possible to fit your item in with another delivery, lowering the price for you!  

 

3# How many couriers does it take to move an item…?

Make it extra clear if the job can be done by one person, or if it needs two. If you don’t tell the courier up front, and a lone driver comes to find they can’t do the job, you will be charged anyway! If it needs two, but you, and the person at the other end, are happy to help – tell the courier when requesting a quote – it will likely mean a lower price for you!

All cosy beneath that blanket are half a dozen boxes of important documents.
All cosy beneath that blanket are half a dozen boxes of important documents.

 

4# Be prepared on the day  

Get everything ready for the courier ahead of arrival. You are likely going to be charged by the hour, so don’t end up with a higher bill for not having planned ahead! If there is a good parking spot in front of your house, try and secure it with your own car, so it is easier for the courier (and you, if you are helping) to get everything loaded. Let the courier know in advance of any parking restrictions – the more information you provided, the lower your quote will be.

 

5# Check everything at both ends!

I take payment by card, using this nifty portable card machine!
I take payment by card, using this nifty portable card machine!

Once your item, or items, have been loaded, give them a once over to make sure you are happy. A good courier will inspect the item before loading, and highlight any existing damage, or marks. I personally photograph every item before wrapping it safely in blankets, and securing it with straps. That way if there is any issue, it can be quickly resolved.

 

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found some useful advice in this blog. I’m Oz, AKA, Mr Tambourine Van Courier

Service. I really love couriering, and see every load as a new adventure! I run a small van at a cheap price, ideal for courier work, small/student removals, furniture, and much more. If it fits – I’ll move it! I work primarily in Glasgow, and central Scotland, but will travel anywhere in the UK for the right price. To get a quick quote, visit www.mrtvan.com or call 07532 827 854 – not your usual man with a van!