August 2015 – Upper floor room construction

August 2015

The inner skin of the lower floors is all concrete block work and is therefore great for fixing shelves that will carry heavy equipment.  The upper floor room dividing walls are a timber frame construction that has fire resistant plasterboard walls however, behind the plasterboard, are sheets of thick plywood to provide a sound fixing for shelves and equipment.  In each corner of the building we have access hatches to the external antenna brackets that have been fixed to the building’s steelwork.  This will enable ready access to the antennas that will be mounted to the four corners of the museum and to the antenna tower that will be erected adjacent to the building.

The stairs arrive
The stairs arrive
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Outer skin frame
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A view from the operations room to the ESD workshop before the dividing wall is constructed
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The main upper gallery

June 2015 – are the floors strong enough?

June 2015

We always knew that we wanted significant strength in the first floor structure, as the point loads of a row of 19″ racks full of military radios is quite significant.  When our structural steel consultants revisited their calculations they decided that some of our steel work should be upgraded in situ.  This put the overall project back about 4 weeks but better safe than sorry!

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May 2015 – Internal steelwork for upper floor

internal steel to support the floor
internal steel to support the floor

May 2015

To make the upper floor very strong, to support the weight of many heavy radios, it was decided to create the upper floor with concrete beams and blocks.  This approach also provides greater fire protection when compared with a traditional timber construction.

First floor beams
First floor beams
Floor beams delivered
Floor beams delivered
more beams
more beams
Beams and Blocks in place
Beams and Blocks in place
Ground Floor
Ground Floor

November 2014 – The decision to build the museum is made

December 2014
The land is acquired

December 2014

The idea of opening a museum has been in the mind of Steve Haseldine for about 15 years and radio equipment has been steadily acquired on an on-going basis.  Initially stored at his home, space soon became an issue and much of the collected equipment went into dry storage.  In 2005, Steve had a new building constructed for one of his companies and air conditioned space was allocated for both radio storage and more importantly a workshop, to enable restoration and alignment work to be undertaken.  Within a short time, this storage space also became inadequate and more dry storage locations were rented.  This continued to mid 2014 when the decision to create a museum was finally made.  At this stage an estimate was made of the amount of space that would be required for static display, active display and an electronics workshop.   Of course the amount of space is inevitably constrained by the cost of buying it and then the on-going costs of heating, air conditioning, rates etc !  It was determined that ideally we would require between five and six thousand square feet of space.

The next decision was do we “buy an existing building” or “have a new one built”.  The main problem in 2014 was that no suitable existing property was available in or around Derby and equally there was little speculative construction taking place.  We came across a brown field site where the old factory buildings had been demolished and the site was being converted into a new small business park. Most of the units on the site were already sold and built but there was one plot where we could build a two storey detached building with just about the right internal space.  There was space for erecting a tower and adequate car parking.  The outline design was made and the deal to purchase was made over a three week period.  Since then it has been full steam ahead!

The site before the building
The site before the building