Weightblock microwave invention provides hot in-field snacks

Paul Spinks’ Skeyton Snack Bar was chosen as one of the editor’s picks in the intermediate category of the Farmers Weekly Inventions Competition.

Berkshire might have The Fat Duck and Oxfordshire can lay claim to Le Manor aux Quat Saisions, but neither holds a candle to Norfolk’s gastronomic offering… the Skeyton Snack Bar.

Yes, forget Michelin stars and bouquet garnis, when it’s 10pm in a wheat field, there’s nothing like tucking into a piping hot pasty and a cuppa.

By incorporating a 600W microwave and travel kettle into a custom-built, front-linkage weight block, Paul Spinks has managed to introduce a little luxury to the relentless harvest toil. 

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Power for the snack bar comes from a 1000W inverter tucked neatly under the tractor seat and this gives enough oomph to double up as a power source for tools such as grinders and drills.

It’s wired up to a permanent waterproof socket at the front of the tractor that’s quick to plug into.

The box is divided into three compartments, with concrete ballast in the centre, storage for tools and spares in the right and a double-sealed, moisture-proof cabinet for the microwave on the left.

This is fitted with a frame and ratchet strap to hold the cooker firmly in place, which also makes it simple to remove when extra storage is required.

It was built from scratch in the farm workshop and weights about 1,100kg. Most of the metal was recycled and the main outlay was £110 for the inverter and £50 for the microwave.

We’ve found an extra £100 in the kitty as a prize for Mr Spinks’ impressive ingenuity.