Naturally, I sketched a few ridiculously complicated mechanisms with multiple pulleys and a crank winder. Then I picked up some cheapish awning pulleys from Lincraft, and mocked up a more sensible little hand pull model.
Of course Elly's first reaction to this was to run to the bedroom to look for the real thing. Sigh. Must stop making these projects seem so easy. Later that afternoon he came with me to Bunnings to get our supplies. We bought some 40x18mm untreated oak that matched the bed frame, a cleat, some 3mm awning cord, a hook and some support brackets. The blue basket was $3 at Neds. I kept the natural oak finish and sanded down the corners at the top for appearance's sake. And here's the finished product.
If I made this again I would use all screws instead of nailing the t-junctions. That was just sloppy woodwork, but the metal braces seem to have done the trick with eliminating any wobbles. Hard to get good photos in Elliot's room as it's a tad gloomy. Here's a dark action shot. Doesn't help he's wearing a hoodie!
It took him a few tries to get the hang of the cleat but then he was whizzing the torch and water bottle up and down like there was no tomorrow. Mission lift - a success!