Turning the large, crank-like wheel on the rusted old front door sets the imagination wandering – puzzled perhaps by the pressure gauge imbedded in the steel, yet intrigued to see what lies behind the rather distinctive entrance.
Stepping inside, The Manufactory’s interior proves no less curious. The latest addition to Thornbury’s up-and-coming High Street strip is home to an eclectic mix of scientific apparatus, steampunk-style devices, vintage birdcages, glass bell jars, shoe horns and old piano scrolls, each with their share of nostalgic charm and ageing imperfections.
But it's not all peeling paint and chipped wood. A scattering of pot plants punctuate the space and a helpful chalkboard reminds us of what to plant, sew and feed now for the June garden; a subtle, green-fingered touch that co-owner Tanya brings via her horticultural background.
Meanwhile, husband Cliff maintains his industrial design practice with a range self-made steampunk items that, in a similar vein to his self-made front door, echo a message of reinvention and restoration.
The result is a botanical curiosity shop that integrates both its owners’ personal and joint tastes and expertise – a place where nature finds itself sitting alongside reclaimed and mechanical treasures.