Yearly Archives: 2022

Twinfix wish you a safe, fatigue-free Christmas

Every year, industries up and down the country work hard to plan and prepare for winter.

At Twinfix, as part of the supply chain, we always do our best to support our customers with their adverse weather planning. The rail industry, for example, are working hard and engaging with their supply chain to ensure the tracks remain operational, as the temperatures across Britain drop. It’s not only at this time of year we think about safe journeys and the safety of our rail colleagues, but the festive period heightens our awareness of safety, fatigue, and winter working.

Hazards change with the season

Winter is officially here, and the colder weather brings its own challenges and risks. While we are at work it is easy to forget the risks of the season and focus on finishing tasks before the Christmas break. Frozen car parks and slippery pavements are the obvious hazards for the time of year but poor lighting, slippery grass, dark indoor environments, congested delivery bays, heaters, extension leads, and trailing scarves can also be something to keep a keen eye out for. The remedies for these are quite simple and something everyone should already know. Keep the carparks and pavements gritted, wear warm clothes, use additional lighting if needed, stick to known routes, keep leads and trailing items out of walkways, etc.


Even though most of us take a festive break, lots of people still work over this period to keep the railway functioning. It’s at this time of year, we need to pay more attention and it’s important we all keep a watchful eye on ourselves, family, friends, and co-workers for early signs of fatigue. Workplace fatigue can lead to accidents, injury, ill-health, loss of productivity, and potentially fatal outcomes. Fatigue is generally considered to be a decline in mental and/or physical performance that results from prolonged exertion, sleep loss and/or disruption of a person’s ‘internal clock’.

Rail Wellbeing Live

Rail Wellbeing Live is the biggest health and wellbeing movement in the history of the rail industry. Set up in 2020, it has a simple mission- to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone who works in rail. Recently, they held a webinar to discuss the challenges, sacrifices and sense of purpose whilst working in the rail industry through the festive period. You can watch this webinar on demand here;

Vicky Evans, Twinfix Director, said “At Twinfix, we care about the wellbeing of our people and are aware of the risks of fatigue and fully support any efforts to raise awareness. We understand that causes of fatigue are not just restricted to the workplace. With the current economic problems, the cost-of-living crises and inflation there is an additional pressure to earn more and spend less. Concerns over paying bills and ensuring everyone gets all the things they want at Christmas, can pile on more pressure. We have a duty of care to our people ensure we do not put anyone in a situation they aren’t able to cope with while at work. At Twinfix, we have a wellbeing programme for our people and encourage an open culture of support and compassion to help support each other.

Twinfix Team

Looking ahead to 2023? If you need support on any of your projects or advice on any of our products or services, please ring us on 01925 811311, email us at or get in touch via the enquiry form on our Contact Us page.

Kingsmill SEN School Case Study

Situated in the heart of the community of Driffield, Kingsmill School is a SEN school which caters for pupils aged 2-19 years. Situated across two sites, the main school site houses Early Years through to Key Stage 4. The school was completed in May 2017 and has been purpose built to meet the needs of its pupils. Alongside eleven new classrooms, the main site also has a new hydrotherapy pool, rebound room, sensory therapy room and sensory rooms.

Students aged 16-19 are based at The Kings Mill Student Centre which is based at Driffield Secondary School approximately a mile away from the main site. This comprises three classrooms and a combined common room and food technology area.

When the school decided to utilise its outdoor space to provide a safe environment for pupils to learn and play undercover, Twinfix were approached by Main Contractor Hobson Porter to design, manufacture & install four classroom canopies..

The free-standing mono-pitch canopies all comprise our innovative Multi-Link-Panel Non-Fragile (NF) roofing system, glazed with 16mm multiwall polycarbonate. The roof is non-fragile in accordance with the HSE’s test for fragility ACR[M]001:2019, an important factor when installing canopies where children may try and access the roof. Each canopy has an aluminium frame, powder-coated to RAL 5015 sky blue to match the school’s building and logo. Other features Twinfix incorporated into the design of canopies are anti-climb guttering and post-protectors, which provided further elements of safety for the students.

Being a one-stop shop for designing, manufacturing and installing such outdoor structures we are proud to offer a seamless service to any school or other education establishment looking for a canopy or walkway. We are really pleased that the staff at Kingsmill School are delighted with the latest additions to their school and we know they are planning to use it for all sorts of fun and healthy outdoor learning/playing experiences for their children.

Latest news from the Twinfix Team

Our team have been out and about meeting up with familiar faces and also making new connections over the last month.

We have exhibited at Education Estates and Learning Places Scotland, showcasing how our range of high-quality, safe canopies and roof glazing can benefit education settings.

Our Account Manager for the South, Vanessa visited last week’s London Build Exhibition, while Director, Vicky exhibited at Rail North Conference and Transcity Rail and Account Manager Josh popped in to MPBA’s offices to pick up our updated membership certificate.

The team have also been busy presenting lots of CPDs to specifiers of roof glazing and canopy systems online and on site. If you would like to book a cpd or find out more then click here.

Back to the future- how modern sustainable materials are being used to preserve historic stations  

Twinfix have been utilising their skills and expertise to restore part of the historic Watford High Street Station, returning the station’s entrance to its former glory. By using their Multi-Link-Panel Non-Fragile glazed with 6mm solid Georgian wired effect polycarbonate, they have brought this landmark up to date with sustainable materials, while keeping the look and feel of the original.

Watford High Street Station was originally opened over 160 years ago by the Watford and Rickmansworth Railway (W&RR), offering services from Watford Junction to Rickmansworth. Over its 160 life the station has been owned by several rail companies in eluding the London and North-western Railway (LNWR) and London, Midland, and Scottish Railway (LMS).

In the early twentieth century additional rail services were added. These include a branch line to Croxley Green in 1912. The Underground Electric Railways Company of London in 1917, extended its Bakerloo line through this station to Watford Junction and in 1922 LNWR completed the Camden to Watford Junction Line linking Watford High Street to London Euston via the Watford DC Line (shared with the Bakerloo line). In 2007 the line was brought under the control of Transport for London (TfL), who today operate it as part of the London Overground network.

To the east of the railway is the site of the Benskins Brewery, the building which is now the location for the Watford Museum. The brewery was rail-served by sidings until 1956. The station is situated in a deep cutting covered by a single platform canopy. The roof of the canopy is connected to the concrete sided cutting by ornamental metal trusses. Outside the front of the station, is a distinctive glazed entrance canopy providing shelter from the weather and a historic landmark for the town.

After decades of use the old entrance canopy and glazing were showing signs of age. The wood framing around the glazing was rotten and decaying, the plaster work was broken and missing and the whole canopy needed a refresh. With the glazed canopy being such a long-standing landmark, it fell to Twinfix to replace the distinctive glazing panels with something hard wearing, sustainable and modern but without losing the period look. Twinfix supplied their Multi-Link-Panel Non-Fragile (NF) glazed with 6mm solid Georgian wired effect polycarbonate glazing system, the innovative system was installed by RailX UK Ltd. A slight redesign of the original allowed access hatches to be installed, making maintenance easier. Installed it’s almost impossible to detect the hard work and modern materials that have been used to bring this important structure back to life. The polycarbonate will resist ageing and UV degradation and along with the aluminium support frames, the system is completely recyclable.

Vicky Evans, Director at Twinfix, said; “We are proud of the finished product and that we were able to offer a long-term solution that delivers the aesthetic charm of the old roof, increases light levels for passengers, improves safety for all using the station and offers a sustainable, future proof outcome. We look forward to being part of delivering more excellent results for our clients in the future.”

Case Study – Ysgol Bro Myrddin

Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin is a Welsh-medium Comprehensive school in Carmarthenshire, Wales. The school was founded in 1978, on the premises of the former Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School for Boys, Carmarthen. In 1996 the school was moved to its current purpose-built campus at Croesyceiliog. Every year, approximately 150 pupils are admitted to the school in year 7 and about 950 pupils in total attend the school and with over 200 pupils attend the sixth-form college.

When the school had a requirement for shelter over the outdoor construction area and also an eating area for their pupils, Twinfix were approached by Main Contractor Lloyd & Gravell to design, manufacture and install the free-standing mono-pitch canopies spanning a total of 156 square metres.

Both the canopies have aluminium frames powder coated in hipca white, RAL 9910 SG.  As this metal doesn’t rust in use, they will keep their good looks throughout their long life.

The roof glazing consists of Twinfix Multi-Link-Panels NF fitted with 16mm clear multi-wall multiwall polycarbonate.  The NF (Non-Fragile) denotes that these panels conform to the HSE’s recommended drop test ACR[M]001:2019, as recommended by HSG33.

Vertical glazing was included in the design for one of the canopies, to provide protection from the weather all year round whilst enabling vision into and out of the canopy.

Mr Madoc-Jones, Deputy Head at the school commented – ‘Twinfix – a professional company that understands the needs of schools, and the fact that space is a premium. Twinfix has helped us to maximise the use of outdoor spaces, providing enhanced outdoor eating areas as well as additional teaching space at a time when ‘being outdoors’ is recognised as very important for the well-being of learners. Courteous, safe, professional and always reachable and reliable, Twinfix worked with us to find excellent solutions to enhancing our outdoor offer to learners. Highly recommended.’

Once the installation was complete and realising the benefits that the vertical glazing offers, the school requested that it be added to the second structure.

Twinfix receive life-saving equipment

Following on from recent First Aid in the Workplace training provided to some of our team, we have purchased a defibrillator for the Twinfix premises and had some of our staff trained on how to use it in the case of a cardiac emergency.

Director Sarah Kench commented “At Twinfix we are always focused on the Health and Safety of our staff. Using a defib is an essential part in trying to save the life of someone who’s in cardiac arrest and having one on the premises hopefully provides re-assurance in the case of an emergency.”

Case Study Sutton Station – Breathing new life into an old station

Sutton station, owned and operated by Network Rail needed refurbishment. The station was showing signs of its age, with the old timber work in need of replacing, the roof leaking and the glass roof sections in need of some TLC. Due to their age, the glass roof sections had become fragile and had subsequently broken, Also because of the difficulty in safely cleaning them, they were proving more of a light blocker, than a source of natural light.

It was decided that the glass roof sections would need replacing and in order to do this, Twinfix were consulted by Network Rail and asked to offer a solution. Twinfix were mindful of the aesthetics of the station but were also very aware that they could offer something which would provide a long-term solution for the station. Utilising their Multi-Link-Panel System, Twinfix put forward a solution which would do justice to the refurbishment work, the station was receiving whilst bringing the roof up to date and delivering an outcome which would last the test of time. By replacing the old steel and glass sections with their sustainable aluminium and polycarbonate Multi-Link-Panel System, Twinfix’s proposed solution would maintain the look and feel of the old roof, but deliver something which is virtually unbreakable, doesn’t need repairing or regular replacement and would allow routine cleaning to be carried out, keeping the station flooded with light. By replacing the old glass with a slightly obscured 6mm polycarbonate, the light inside the station would be diffused rather than harsh, and significantly brighter than the current situation.

The new system would not only last the rigours of time, but is made of sustainable materials. Polycarbonate has minimal impact on the environment and is fully recyclable at the end of its long life. Polycarbonate panels, used in place of glass can be manufactured to give the same look as more traditional glass with features such as Georgian wired but with a significant weight saving. This weight saving means that transportation, manual handling of lifting is easier and requires less energy, plus the structural elements can be reduced as the weight they are required to support is reduced. The result is a total saving on energy and materials needed for installation. Once installed polycarbonate is considerably stronger than glass and is unlikely to break. Depending upon the requirements and location of the installation, Twinfix manufacture a ‘non-fragile’ version which, in testing could withstand far greater impact than an equivalent glass panel. This is especially good for areas where people might accidentally step or fall onto the panels such as rail station roofs. This inherent toughness also reduces the need to replace the glazing panel as often as glass and with UV coatings the panel doesn’t yellow with age or become brittle.

Aluminium is known as the ‘Green metal’ due to its ability to be recycled again and again, without degradation of its inherent properties. Recycling aluminium also saves 95% of the energy required in the production of aluminium from raw materials. Compared to traditional steel, aluminium is approximately 2.5 times lighter, strength for strength, so again there is a weight saving comparable to that associated with polycarbonate over glass. Unlike steel, aluminium will not rust, and the application of powder coating will prevent corrosion. Powder coating is a pigment encapsulated in a powdered resin and then cured in an oven to harden the paint surface.

Working with the roofing contractor, G.S. Moore, and as part of the larger station refurbishment, delivered by BAM Nuttall, Twinfix were able to replace the existing damaged glass roof in the entrance, the footbridge and the platform adding up to an area over 340 metres square, bathing the covered areas in natural light.

Vicky Evans, Director at Twinfix, said; “It was a pleasure working with the team at Network Rail, G.S.Moore and BAM Nuttall. Sutton Station roof was in a dramatic need of replacement. We are proud of the finished product and that we were able to offer a long-term solution that delivers the aesthetic charm of the old roof, increases light levels for passengers, improves safety for all using the station and offers a sustainable, future proof outcome. We look forward to being part of delivering more excellent results for our clients in the future.”


Case Study – Burger King

Last year, fast food chain Burger King added forty-eight new restaurants to their rapidly growing portfolio. Twinfix were approached by Ideal Building Systems to design, manufacture & install canopies and Brise Soleils at three of the sites in Kent, Clacton-on-Sea and Swindon.

With over 30 years’ experience the Twinfix Technical Team had no problems designing structures to suit the requirements and budget of the client.

Twinfix’s expert team designed, manufactured, and installed a brise soleil which covered all four sides of the restaurant at the first site in Swindon and fabricated lean to mono-pitch canopies with squared posts and 3mm thick solid aluminium sheet for roof, complete with brise soleil for rear, sides and front at the restaurants in Kent and Clacton-on-Sea.

The structures served two purposes, while providing shelter, they also enhanced the aesthetics of the restaurants and complemented the building’s exterior.

Each canopy spans 35 square metres and the roof comprises of pressed aluminium roof at a reduced pitch to fit inside the 150 depths of our frame, concealed gutters and downpipes and prepared for soffits by another contractor. The roofs were powder coated in RAL 3020 Traffic Red and squared aluminium posts powder coated to RAL 9006 White Aluminium.

The Brise Soleils are constructed from our 150 x75 rectangular hollow section and had to accommodate some wiring for lights that were installed later by another contractor. These are a striking addition to the building fascia.

The design of the proposed future sites look set to follow the same format and we look forward to working with Ideal Building Systems on the upcoming projects.

Case Study Green Lane SEN School, Warrington

Over the last decade, Twinfix have installed 10 canopies on five separate occasions at Green Lane Community Special School, part of Woolston Learning Village in Holes Lane, Warrington.

The initial project involved fitting a 35m long 2m wide walkway on this school, and another 32m walkway at the adjacent school on the site, both designed to provide under cover access between car drop-off and the school buildings.  Twinfix were approached by main contractor ISG Construction Ltd from Salford to design, manufacture and install these as part of their overall task to refurbish the old Woolston High School campus back in 2014.

Since the original project, Twinfix have been invited back on four more occasions by Head Teacher, Paul King to install further canopies. Most recently a free-standing mono-pitch canopy spanning 80 square-metres.

All the canopies designed, manufactured and installed by Twinfix have aluminium frames powder coated in blue RAL 5010.  As this metal doesn’t rust in use, they will keep their good looks throughout their long life.  The roof glazing consists of Twinfix Multi-Link-Panels NF fitted with tough 25mm opal multiwall polycarbonate.  The NF denotes that these panels conform to the HSE’s recommended drop test ACR[M]001:2019, as recommended by HSG33. This is particularly important where access could be gained to the overhead glazing.

Vertical glazing was included in the design of the walkways at the school which provides additional weather protection, while the canopies providing shelter in play areas were fitted with post protectors to guard the children from bumps and bangs.

Paul King explains: “We cater for children from 3 to 18 years old.  They’re not like children in a main-stream school, they’re vulnerable and they all have special needs.  We wanted them to have covered access to the outside throughout the year and these canopies have enabled us to achieve this.  Our children have to be taught how to play and having such large, safe protected outside areas gives us the space to do this.  All the areas had to be closed off from pupils for installing the footings for the post supports and again for the actual build – but Twinfix were very accurate in the timings they gave us and they were finished within their promised timeframe. “