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Logistics and Warehousing
You can’t travel more than a few miles on Britain’s motorway system without seeing an Eddie Stobart truck. The logistics company has an almost cult status now, with a fan club and an army of truck spotters ticking off the names up and down the land.
The affection the company is held in is reflected by its own pride in its past. Founded in the 1940s in agricultural Cumbria, the company’s rise has been steady and strong – it now has revenues of over £800m, and more than 6,000 employees.
The best place to experience this pride and history is in its showroom at The Glasshouse in Crick, Northamptonshire. It’s a truck-spotters paradise, with gleaming wagons dating back decades in a polished space worthy of a prestige car showroom.
Unfortunately, the lighting in place was not doing justice to the immaculately waxed trucks. It was getting tired and dull, so they got in touch with McLennan to make their lorries glisten again.
As we regularly perform bespoke lighting refurbishment solutions, we knew this was a special job. First, the ceiling was 7 metres (23 ft) high. On its own that’s no biggie – it’s about normal for a warehouse or factory. But no warehouse has a polished black ceramic tile floor plus a collection of irreplaceable trucks and Stobart-sponsored superbikes to work around. Jobs usually come with a high ceiling or a delicate floor – but hardly ever both together.
Second, we had to make sure we arranged the lights so that they illuminated the exhibits to their absolute best. A lot of care has gone into restoring and preserving them, and we wanted to make sure all that hard work was worthwhile.
The job required a specialist scaffolding tower to ensure the weight was distributed such that the floor would not be marked. We sought expert advice on this, as the safety of our own engineers and the showroom’s staff was paramount.
Up at ceiling level, the old lighting system hung from a plasterboard soffit and ceiling grid. We set about removing it with the greatest of care, a tricky task in itself.
In its place we installed an attractive new LED system in recessed down-light fittings. As soon as we started testing the lights, it was obvious the improvement was enormous. By the time we had covered the whole space and the lights were switched on, we knew from the staff’s reactions that this was a job well done.
When you work in lighting, you get to appreciate the medium more than most people probably do. Positioning, orientation, brilliance and colour temperature all influence the way a room feels. Often our work is simply to ensure the light is as bright as possible to provide a safe and efficient workplace.
But sometimes, such as with this job, the design and installation of bespoke lighting solutions is much more.
Now, the Stobart showroom is ready to take new exhibits well into the 21st century, and it has lighting to show its history in all its glory.
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