Local firm teams up with Globe Theatre specialists

LARS Communications has been installing communications towers in some of the most remote locations across the UK.

However, for their latest project on the Isle of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, they worked with a very special partner, Berkshire-based McCurdy & Co., the company responsible for the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. 

Explains business development manager, Julian Cooper: "The brief for this tower was a new challenge even for us. The brief was to design, fabricate and install a 40-metre tower at Remote Radar Head Benbecula, but because steel creates radar reflection, the top 20 metres of the tower had to be constructed from timber.

"While we have extensive experience of working with steelwork, we had to outsource the timber construction. We ultimately appointed Berkshire-based McCurdy & Co., craftsmen and consultants and historic timber frame reconstruction specialists."

McCurdy & Co.

McCurdy & Co. boast a pretty impressive client and project list, among which are the Chelsea Flower Show, Dorchester Abbey and Barley Hall, York. It’s the Barley Hall project which got them involved in arguably their most famous and impressive project to date, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. 

For almost a decade, McCurdy & Co. were closely involved in the authentic reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original ‘wooden O’, having been selected for the project by the late American actor and director, Sam Wanamaker. Wanamaker had seen McCurdy & Co. at work on the reconstruction of Barley Hall, a 14th century timber framed building in the centre of York.

Tower Design, Fabrication and Installation

The tower design was carried out by our tower design partners, Hampshire-based MFD Communication Infrastructure. Working alongside MFDCI, we submitted a detailed design and calculations package.

Upon completion and subsequent approval of the designs, all the steelwork was fabricated in our in-house fabrication workshop, while McCurdy & Co. made a start on the timber framework.

Once manufactured, the steelwork and timber framework were transported to the site and assembled in situ. Any cranes, MEWPs and work platforms required were hired from local suppliers.

RRH Benbecula 

The installation took place at Remote Radar Head Benbecula, an air defence radar station operated by the Royal Air Force in the Western Isles of Scotland.

The installation was part of Programme HYDRA, a series of works aimed at creating secure radar stations which can be operated remotely for the RAF. This is the third location to be upgraded as part of this vitally important programme, following installations at RRH Buchan and RRH Brizlee Wood.

The client on this occasion was JRC Facilities who had been appointed by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Julian Cooper, was justifiably proud to be part of such an important project, saying: “This was another amazing project to be involved in, and another one which presented a unique set of challenges. Once again, the team here at LARS was up for the challenge. 

The team working on Project HYDRA worked diligently and collaboratively, ultimately delivering the project smoothly and to the satisfaction of the client.”