Here in Cornwall, we are always looking for new ways of doing things. We are also very conscious of the past - we are sort of moving forward into the past.
Until about 1850, there was a treadmill in Bodmin Gaol; there were other gaols in the county that also had them. Criminals would be sent there for a few weeks to while away their days turning a treadmill. Usually, this was for minor offences such as being drunk and disorderly. This was in the days of course, when you could be hung for stealing a sheep, or even worse, sent to Australia!
We have just as much disorderly behavour on our streets now as we did then, perhaps more. In 1850 there were very few people from England taking their holidays here. If any.
So, the authorities have decided to re-introduce the treadmill. It has two main advantages as a punishment. It is cheap. Criminals will live at home; have to make their own way to the treadmill and bring their own food and drink. The treadmills will be linked to banks of batteries that will provide power for the lights and for boiling the kettle for the supervisors.
In the 19th century, the treadmills were used to grind flour and this week a deal has been struck with a well known organic biscuit maker. His name is a commercial secret but think feathers..... Just imagine, not only organic, but hand-ground flour. Well, foot-ground anyway.
Of course, there might be people who get in the wheel and refuse to walk. A small amount of electrical power will get the wheel moving, when it will become very uncomfortable to refuse to walk.
In fact, I say walk, but many people will be running. The person who completes the most miles in each day will get one day knocked off their sentence! Of course, there will some sort of handicapping system so that little old men will have a chance.
The first bank of wheels will be in a well known seaside resort and it is hoped that the building will incorporate a viewing gallery, entry to which will incur a small charge.