Bradford on Avon’s charming St Margaret’s Hall was originally an early nineteenth-century wool dyeing factory. Its varied working life saw it converted into a cinema during the First World War and housing the town’s volunteer fire brigade in the 1940s, before conversion into a civic hall in the 1950s.
This much-loved building is at the heart of Bradford on Avon’s community, with the local council striving for over ten years to maintain and refurbish the hall with a view to restoring its central role in the town.
After funding was secured, in 2013 the council commissioned Aaron Evans Architects from Bath to design and implement a conversion and extension. This included a new access ramp as well as a mezzanine to provide more space for theatre, film, nursery and other community events.
Enlightened were approached by Aaron Evans with a request to design an extensive motorised flying truss system, and were subsequently named in the main tender as the specialist contractor.
Enlightened’s Simon Marcus designed the motorised grid truss system. It measures over ten by seven meters and has two sub dividing sections. The truss flying points required the installation of four steel supporting beams during the build renovation, which were specified by Enlightened through close consultation with the structural engineers. The flown truss was installed with four independently mounted motorised hoists to allow the whole lighting rig to be lowered for easy light placement. Custom designed cowls were installed to facilitate neat chain management through the curved hall ceiling.
While the lighting truss was specified through the renovations architect, Enlightened were independently tasked by Bradford on Avon Town Council to substantially update the theatre’s equipment and infrastructure. This included incorporating existing equipment owned by the resident theatre group, as well as the design and installation of new audio, lighting, projector systems and infrastructure. An Igus Cable Management System for cables feeding the truss mounted facilities panels was also added carrying dimmed lighting circuits, non-dimmed ‘hot power’, DMX, audio, HDMI and network cables.
Installation Work by Enlightened: An Overview
• Stage lighting flown support systems comprising of motorised lighting grid and fixed internally wired lighting bars.
• Stage lighting infrastructure comprising of dimmed and non-dimmed socket outlets, DMX distribution systems and control points.
• Stage lighting loose equipment, theatrical lanterns and control console.
• Sound reinforcement systems comprising of flown speakers, amplifiers, audio tie lines outboard and playback equipment.
• Loose audio equipment, (including microphones and sound mixing console).
• Audio and video show relay installed wiring points.
• Facilities panels for film club use.
• Overall power requirements for technical installation.
• Overall layout of control room, (including control room lighting).
• Overall containment required for technical installation.
• Additional theatrical drapes to supplement existing line operated curtain track.
• Mounting of existing curtain track to motorised truss grid.
• Specification and control of dimmable house lights.
• Projector, HDMI distribution.
• Cinema surround sound speakers – supplied by film society.
• Projection screen – existing screen repositioned.
• Assisted hearing Sennheiser IR system
Photo courtesy of Aaron Evans Architects