A tremendous amount of work has happened this week.
We have completed dividing the Weald Foundation workshops into “fabrication” and “machining/assembly” workshops. Although we planned to upgrade our facilities the process was accelerated to adhere to COVID 19 social distancing guidelines – being able to keep our team at a safe distance from each other.
This drive took on a new meaning given the sheer volume of work that is being undertaken on restoration here at the Foundation. Too often we have been forced to forgo and delay certain activities either because of a lack of space or for health and safety good practice. This will not happen again as we will now have two dedicated and separate workshops – one purely for fabrication and recovery of original items for use within the restoration programme and the other for final assembly and machining. In addition to the professional technical fit out both workshops have their own kitchens and toilets which will greatly facilitate the Events that we run for members. An image of the Fabrication workshop is attached showing the Sd.Kfz.222 body waiting to be picked up once the team are back on the 1st July.
All the required tools and equipment for these two separate entities has been reallocated to their dedicated facility. Where equipment has been lacking we have purchased new items and are delighted to have been in a position to rescue engineering equipment that was at risk of being scrapped because of the COVID 19 downturn. Our giant 13 metre lathe is an example of this.
The Board’s previous desire to create new display facilities for Foundation members has also benefited from this drive as we now have a new Display Hall which will house the WWI collection, the Armoured Car collection (German and South African) and the rest of the Empire Collection (Australian Local pattern Carrier LP1 and Indian (New Zealand) Pattern carrier). The other vehicles and artifacts to be displayed in the new hall will be determined once the layout of the hall is completed and the available space is known. We hope then to experiment with a themed approach to our displays.
All these improvements build upon previous work completed in the past year such as our audio-visual Interpretative Centre which allows the Foundation to host professional education conferences and illustrative lectures.