Since our last update, we’ve been working hard to get all our plans in place, so that as soon as the doors close on our 2017 season, we can get straight into our depot refurbishment project, which is going to keep us busy this winter.
Bailey Construction have been appointed as the main contractor and they will have responsibility for the overall control of the project. Working for them will be a number of sub-contractors for the individual areas such as roofing, partitions, electrics, etc.
A detailed plan for the work has been drawn up, and as some of you will have seen the Curatorial team started the project off by spending the last couple of weeks removing the artefacts that were previously on display. This was following yesterday’s Big Shunt 2, which took place as part of the last day of our operating season.
In order to start the roof work, we needed the contents of our depot 2 completely empty, so out went the trams to various rearranged winter storage locations, including a very different looking back three tracks of the exhibition hall. Planning how to rearrange and get all the trams moved around, is no simple task and requires skill and knowledge of the collection, to know what will fit in which area, in which combination and any particular quirks of individual.
The Depot Refurbishment is generously funded with help from the DCMS / Wolfson Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund.
With depot 2 now empty, our first task starting today will be to take the overhead line equipment (OLE) down. Once this is done the roofers will be able to move in and start removing the old roof and installing the new fully insulated roof panels.
In parallel with this, the first part of the electrical work will be carried out, for the new lighting and associated modifications.
Once depot 2 has been re-roofed and the OLE re-instated, depot 3 will be emptied in another shunting exercise, and the process repeated. Finally, depot 4, will receive the same treatment, with the re-roofing planned to be complete before the Christmas break.
In the New Year, we will work back from right to left, installing the partition walls between depots 3 and 4, insulating the walls, completing the electrical work and finally replace the wall at the front of depot 2 which extends out from the rest of the buildings.
The New Year will also see the new bespoke pivot doors installed, the design of which has been inspired by photos from our Archive, of some of the original depot doors that featured on various tramway systems depot building. The design of the doors has been a challenge for our subcontractors Jewers, but we’re working with them to finalise the installation schedule for the New Year.
Keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page as we will be posting updates throughout the winter, so you can see how we are progressing with the project.