When things don’t work out… maybe they do.

We are well into the throws of building works on our new premises, and it’s very exciting seeing plans coming into fruition. It’s also really exciting to see the online community really come forward with support; ideas, offers and things! One such thing was the offer of a fun, beautifully designed seating area, that had been designed as part of a student project at Leeds Beckett University. Due to a series of unforeseeable delays, I only managed to go this week, a few weeks after the original offer, to go there to pick it up. The email instructions for finding the seats described:”The buildings we occupy are made from corten steel and are rusty in appearance. When you turn off Woodhouse Lane you should drive down between the rusty building and Old Broadcasting House. Towards the left hand side you’ll see a gap between the two buildings – the chairs are located behind the single door of the left hand building.” I felt like a woman on a mission driving through the university area of Leeds locating the Old Broadcasting House. The truth is, I had driven past there a million times, and never really actually noticed the corten steel building rusty in appearance. I drove in tentatively, and was blown away by the courtyard area behind the Old Broadcasting House that had created a mini universe of design and beauty.

I parked up, and wandered towards the main reception area, not sure who I was meeting and if I was in the right place, but fortuitously the two of us made contact pretty quickly. Robin, Senior Lecturer in Design Product, was hugely apologetic. It had appeared that the chairs had been removed by the caretakers and disassembled to be put in the skip for landfill. I had literally arrived a few hours too late. We made our way to the skip to see if they were salvageable, but, alas not.

As we wandered back to my car, to ensure I didn’t obtain a parking ticket for my efforts, we began talking and it appeared very quickly that Robin’s students and TLC could have huge potential to mutually benefit each other: His students solve problems through design. The chairs were designed to meet the brief of people with different ages and abilities to be able to sit down and have a conversation together, to combat social isolation. Another project that his students will soon be working on is to design something that demonstrates the journey of a coffee bean into an espresso.

I asked if I could take a photo of the two of us meeting; I knew that there was something to say about our encounter. We set the phone on selfie mode and took this picture. Not all the words came out (Building a home with TLC), and that was the message that I knew had come out – that sometimes when things don’t work out as we intended, maybe they did work out after all…


published by Anna Dyson
Founder and Director of ToastLoveCoffee. CEO of Dyson family, Roundhay (Leeds) branch which involves a huge array of skills impossible to imagine or articulate! Formerly, Jewish educator and community professional.


  1. posted by Lawrence Glyn on Reply

    Still, shame about the bench though!!

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