They say that the simplest ideas are the best, and Art and Invention have always been closely linked - look at Leonardo Da Vinci. I feel that the last invention I put on the market is so simple a lot of people didn't understand it.
No matter how careful one is when hanging washing, a sudden shower can mean that it has to be taken in wetter than it went out. The option is to dry it inside. This soaks up energy, causes a damp atmosphere, and rooms full of wet washing needed for the next day. Or you can use a tumble dryer. This wastes expensive electricity to heat the outside air and contributes to global Climate Change - which we should all be addressing. Across the European Union tumble dryer use consumes over 1700 trillion kilowatt hours of energy, producing over 70 million tons of CO2 EVERY YEAR!!!.
It seems incredible that there are over 4 million rotary washing lines (airers, dryers, whirlygigs, call them what you will) out in the British Climate without a rain cover!
- Dryline at C.A.T. Dryline at C.A.T.
- Dryline at thatched cottage Dryline at thatched cottage
- With Kevin McCloud With Kevin McCloud
- Dryline at Kent Show Dryline at Kent Show
My answer was the Rotaire Dryline - a British solution to a British problem - helping the planet to heal itself.
The Dryline proved popular all over the UK and abroad because it answers one basic problem: the weather! It also answers the problems of energy usage, money saving and ridding the house of damp and draped laundry. At first I was amazed that no-one else had brought it to market, but then I felt that at last, I could put my full resources behind it whereas I had previously refused to take such a risk on one of my ideas.
In 2008 I made a video for the BBC about being an inventor, and the same year I was invited to talk to Chris Evans on his Radio 2 Drive Time Show. I put the Dryline up in the studio, and he was amazed. In the time that it had taken him to cue the next record I had filled the studio with a green canopy. He loved the idea and sold it to the public for me - That’s Genius! Don’t hang and hope, get one of these.”, - to the extent that my website crashed that night after so many hits. He was a lovely friendly man, and my five minutes air time kept me busy for more than 3 months.
In 2012 I was awarded the Best Product and Senior Entrepreneur Awards by the Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) and Sage One Accounts. The prestigious Award was made in the BT headquarters in London.
In 2013 the Rotaire Dryline was featured on BBC Midlands Today. I also presented the Dryline on Dragons' Den (BBC) and featured in the trailers for the new series and on Daybreak (ITV) and Chatty Man (Ch4). Although the Dragons were very critical (Kelly Hoppen really slated it and I argued with Deborah Meaden) the public ordered in large quantities and it was a good talking point at public events. I had learned the power of mainstream media.
Unfortunately not long after this I broke my back, and was unable to sustain the media exposure. This led to the death of the Dryline six years later. However, during its 12 years of existence the Dryline saved over 15 thousand tonnes of CO2.