Author Archives: Michelle Meacham

Restoring Kettering Railway Station 

Twinfix have been working their magic to help Network Rail restore Kettering Railway Station to its former glory. They have been helped in this project by the Railway Heritage Trust (RHT). 

The Railway Heritage Trust was created in 1985 by British Rail on the advice of railway heritage campaigners following the destruction of Derby Midland Station. The RHT is an independent company which assists the operational railway in its preservation and upkeep of listed buildings and structures. Network Rail and National Highways (Historic Railways Estate) sponsor the work of the RHT which currently holds an annual budget for restoration work, ensuring that high quality and the best materials are used to restore and preserve assets. 

Kettering station was opened in May 1857 by the Midland Railway, on a line linking the Midland to the Great Northern Railway at Hitchin. The Midland later gained its own London terminus at St Pancras Station. In 1857 the leather trade was in recession with over half of Kettering’s population on poor relief. The railway enabled the town to sell its products over a much wider area and restored the town’s prosperity. Originally the station had a single platform but in 1879 the station was quadrupled, and three new platforms were built. The Midland Railway commissioned waiting rooms, cast-iron columns, spandrels, and canopies for the new platforms to match the original 1857 design by Charles Henry Driver.  In the 1970s, the glass canopies became a maintenance headache for British Rail, who proposed removing the glazing along with the cast-iron column heads and replacing it with sheeting. Thankfully, Kettering Civic Society intervened and saved the canopies and columns. 50 years later these important architectural elements needed some refurbishment but faced another threat. The Midland Mainline electrification programme meant that structural changes would be needed to the canopy structures to allow the overhead line electrical equipment to be installed above the tracks. Once again, the canopies were under threat but this time it was Twinfix which came to the rescue. 

Twinfix, the Warrington based pioneers of polycarbonate were the specified experts in the Network Rail business plan for the station refurbishment. Having already helped bring new life and importantly light into old stations as part of refurbishment work, Network Rail stipulated using Twinfix’s polycarbonate roofing panels and their mounting system to keep the overall aesthetics of the station but add a much-needed resilience to the canopies.  

Twinfix recommended their Multi-Link-Panel glazing with 6mm solid clear polycarbonate to help the restoration project. The Multi-Link-Panel is an innovative, modular system that is incredibly quick to install and outperforms more traditional systems in terms of cost, performance, and appearance. Multi-Link-Panel canopies consist of pre-assembled modular glazing panels, manufactured to size for each individual project. Each panel comprises aluminium structural bars that are glazed with lightweight, yet tough, solid polycarbonate. The aluminium can be powder coated to a range of colours for a rust and maintenance-free life. As panels are pre-assembled in a controlled factory environment possible contamination and errors in installation caused by on-site cutting of the glazing sheet are avoided. These properties can result in saving two thirds of the time taken to install traditional split bar glazing systems. This can save on labour costs and drastically reduce any necessary premises shutdown time required while work is carried out overhead.  The team at Everlast roofing who installed the Twinfix Multi-Link-Panel were a great partner in this installation process and this partnership resulted in a great finished roof.

Handling during installation is easier and safer than with traditional glass systems as panels are constructed from materials that are both strong and light in weight. The reduction in weight compared with glass systems has the added benefit of lowering the overall weight of the roof construction, decreasing the stresses on the existing fabric of a building, especially important where a roof refurbishment is being undertaken. It is this weight reduction that removed the need for reinforcement of the original columns and resulted in the restoration remaining faithful to the original design. 

As Twinfix manufacture the multi-link panel system they are in an ideal position to be able to help with designing out potential problems. Each roofing system is unique and bespoke, so Twinfix took advantage of their deep understanding of their product and the legislation covering such projects and added access hatches to the canopies which allow access above the glazing for maintenance, finally curing that 50-year-old headache. 

Vicky Evans, Director at Twinfix said; The result of the restoration is truly breath-taking. Kettering Station is now awash with natural light and the platforms are a light airy place to wait for a train and shelter from the elements. 

Tim Hedley-Jones, Director of the Railway Heritage Trust, says of the project: “It’s a great example where the use of modern materials helps to protect and sustain a truly beautiful historic station. Our grants have helped Network Rail to preserve Kettering Station using Twinfix technology, to continue to make it fit for purpose for today’s rail passengers.” 

So, if Charles Henry Driver were able to see the station today, he would instantly feel a sense of familiarity and be proud of the restoration work on this piece of railway treasure. 

CREDIT: Photographs taken by Paul Childs, Spheroview

Welcome back to the family Richard!

We are delighted to announce the newest addition to our team at Twinfix, Richard Hall, who joins us as Sales Account Manager for the Midlands region. With a rich history in the industry spanning over three decades, Richard brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his role.

Richard’s journey in the world of glazing and construction began in 1990 when he embarked on a career specialising in supplying cut-to-size polycarbonate and glazing bars for domestic applications. His dedication to quality products and outstanding customer service quickly became evident, laying the foundation for his successful career ahead.

In November 2010, Richard made a significant move to Twinfix, where he continued to excel in a similar role, focusing on developing areas and supplying canopies and non-fragile polycarbonate glazing. His passion for delivering top-notch solutions and building lasting relationships with clients earned him a stellar reputation within the industry.

Building on his previous successes, Richard moved on from Twinfix in March 2014, to focus on supplying various types of glass rooflights to the commercial sector, further solidifying his position as a trusted expert in the field.

Last month, we were thrilled to welcome Richard back to Twinfix. With his in-depth knowledge of our products and a proven track record of delivering excellence, we are confident that Richard will continue to raise the bar in customer satisfaction and business growth.

In his own words, Richard expresses his dedication to selling quality products and providing exceptional customer service. His return to Twinfix presents an exciting opportunity to leverage his expertise and industry contacts, ensuring that our clients receive nothing but the best.

Beyond his professional achievements, Richard’s interests extend to fishing, cycling, and spending quality time with his grandson. His passion for life outside of work reflects his well-rounded personality and commitment to balance.

Please join us in welcoming Richard Hall to the Twinfix family. Whether you are a longstanding client or a prospective partner, Richard looks forward to assisting you with all your canopy and roof glazing needs. Feel free to reach out to him with any enquiries or requirements – he is ready to hit the ground running and deliver the exceptional service you deserve.
Welcome aboard, Richard!
Richard Hall

Windows to the Past and Future: Solid Clear Polycarbonate in Restoring Architectural Heritage

In the tapestry of architectural history, the glazing of windows in railway stations and historic commercial buildings has undergone significant evolution. Traditionally, glass held a monopolistic presence, embodying both the elegance and fragility of a bygone era. However, as time unfurled, the drawbacks of traditional materials became increasingly evident, paving the way for the ascendancy of solid clear polycarbonate in the restoration and revitalisation of these structures.

A Glimpse Into the Past

For decades, the transparent face of architecture was predominantly adorned with glass. Its delicate translucence captured the essence of classic design, allowing daylight to filter through, illuminating the interiors of historic railway stations and commercial edifices. Yet, this emblem of tradition carried inherent vulnerabilities that, over time, became apparent in the face of modern challenges.

The Disadvantages of Tradition

While glass held a certain aesthetic allure, its fragility posed a myriad of challenges, particularly in high traffic areas like railway stations. The propensity to shatter under impact not only compromised safety but also demanded frequent and costly maintenance. Additionally, the poor thermal insulation properties of glass contributed to energy inefficiencies in historic commercial buildings, detracting from both comfort and sustainability.

Solid Clear Polycarbonate: A Beacon of Progress

Enter solid clear polycarbonate, a contemporary marvel that gracefully addresses the limitations of its traditional counterpart. Boasting unparalleled durability, polycarbonate stands resilient in the face of impact, offering enhanced safety without sacrificing transparency. This robustness translates into long-term cost savings, a crucial factor in the meticulous restoration of historical landmarks.

Preserving the Future Through Sustainability

Beyond its strength, solid clear polycarbonate champions sustainability—a quality that resonates with the modern ethos of eco-conscious construction. Fully recyclable and requiring less energy to manufacture than traditional materials, polycarbonate aligns with the imperative to reduce environmental impact, contributing to the preservation of our architectural legacy for generations to come.

Harmony with Tradition

In the quest for modernisation, the risk often lies in compromising the authentic aesthetic of historic structures. Solid clear polycarbonate, however, emerges as a seamless bridge between the past and the present. Its transparency pays homage to the classic elegance of glass while mitigating its vulnerabilities. Moreover, the material’s adaptability allows it to be moulded into shapes that honour traditional architecture, creating a visual harmony that resonates with the soul of these historic landmarks. In conclusion, the transition from traditional glazing materials to solid clear polycarbonate represents more than a mere upgrade; it embodies a commitment to preserving our architectural heritage in the face of contemporary demands. As we look to the future, solid polycarbonate stands not as a departure from tradition, but as a thoughtful evolution that ensures the windows to our past remain clear, resilient, and inextricably linked to the timeless beauty of historic architecture.

 

Cheswick Green Primary School – Case Study

In a recent project, Twinfix displayed their commitment to excellence through the installation of eight free-standing semi-curved canopies spanning 302 square meters at Cheswick Green Primary School in Solihull. Tailored for functionality and aesthetic appeal, the canopies feature the innovative Multi-Link-Panel Non-Fragile roofing system glazed with 10 mm clear multiwall polycarbonate. The aluminium structure, ensuring both durability and a sleek finish, is meticulously powder coated to RAL 7040, imparting numerous benefits to the canopies.

Powder coating enhances the durability of the aluminium, providing a robust protective layer against weathering, corrosion, and UV radiation. This not only ensures a longer lifespan for the canopies but also minimises maintenance requirements, making them a sustainable and cost-effective choice for educational institutions like Cheswick Green Primary School.

Beyond their structural integrity, these barrel-vault canopies offer a multitude of benefits. The Non-Fragile roofing system enhances safety, meeting stringent standards. Simultaneously, the 10 mm clear multiwall polycarbonate glazing fosters inviting covered outdoor spaces, flooded with natural light.

Their design not only adds a touch of modernity but also elevates the visual appeal of the school. Twinfix’s canopies seamlessly blend functionality with elegance, creating structures that are both safe and aesthetically pleasing.

The recent installation at Cheswick Green Primary School exemplifies the company’s commitment to innovation and delivering top-tier solutions. Collaborating effectively with E Manton Ltd, Twinfix has created structures that not only meet the highest standards of functionality but also stand as symbols of excellence in both design and execution. As Twinfix continues to set new standards in canopy solutions, this project stands as a testament to their ability to create transformative and visually captivating spaces.

All stations go!

Great Malvern

At Twinfix, we have been working with the Rail industry for over 30 years. The latest Control Period (CP7) is due to start in 2024, seeing Network Rail invest £44 billion in the UK railway over the five-year period (2024-2029). Network Rail has made public it’s priorities for CP7, and along with the targets and key performance indicators (KPI’s), there are a lot of values that align closely with Twinfix and the work in which we are already engaged.

We have written extensively about the environmental and sustainable nature of our products here at Twinfix. The Polycarbonate and Aluminium which forms the backbone of our product range can be recycled, reused, and can work to reduce the other materials required due to the inherent strength and lightness.

Network Rail are the proud owners of an infrastructure dating as far back as the 1800’s. They recognise the importance and significance of these structures and are keen to preserve the heritage and history. Working with construction companies they are returning these edifices of public transportation back to their original splendour while adhering to modern building regulations. We supply transparent, translucent, and opaque polycarbonate to mimic historic glass features for station refurbishments, but which require minimal maintenance, and which are significantly more durable than glass. We can add period features such as a Georgian wire effect and due to the lightweight properties, we are able to keep structural elements to a minimum while retaining strength.

We are a family firm and very much a part of our local community, yet we can work collaboratively with Tier 1 construction companies and sole traders to help them deliver the best outcome for their client.

Whilst we can provide off the shelf products, our team of experts take great delight in designing and manufacturing bespoke solutions. We can assist with faithful historic renovations; however, we have the skills, expertise, and experience to offer something modern in technology and compliant with all the latest safety standards. We are also capable of identifying historic problems and solving them. Access hatches to allow cleaning and maintenance being a more common problem we solve on many stations rooves.

Of course, working in the modern construction industry means we have a duty of care, something we take very seriously. Our commitment to health & safety, not only for our team but to those who will use or interact with our products is second to none. All our products undergo rigorous testing to ensure they comply with modern building regulations.

Examples of our work can be seen across the country, including Aberdeen, Victoria Station in London, Sutton in Surrey, and Llandudno in Wales. For the most part they go un-noticed, which is exactly the point. What people do notice is the light, the aesthetics, and the restoration.

Vicky Evans, Director at Twinfix said; “We have been playing our part in the Rail industry for the last 30 years and align with Network Rails values, and we hope to be part of the solution for many years to come. Playing our part, working collaboratively to help protect the history of the railways while making them future fit, resilient, and sustainable, Twinfix are your trusted partner in rail.”

Great Malvern

Embracing Festivity: Twinfix’s Remarkable ’12 Days of Christmas’ Celebration

The holiday season at Twinfix was more than just a day; it was a twelve-day jubilation filled with cheer, laughter, and heart-warming moments. As we bid farewell to 2023, let’s reminisce about the joyous and spirited ’12 Days of Christmas’ celebration that lit up our workplace.

From donning our quirkiest Christmas jumpers and pjs, to winning our Christmas dinner, engaging in festive quizzes, and indulging in the sweetness of Christmas goodies, each day was a delightful testament to the festive spirit that unites us.

The excitement soared with our Christmas raffle, where prizes added an extra sparkle to the season. Creativity flourished during our Christmas card competition, showcasing the artistic talent of our team’s children.

Wrapping up with our Christmas work event, these twelve days showcased the strong unity and shared joy at Twinfix. Laughter, shared moments, and a sense of togetherness defined this special celebration.

As we embrace 2024, let’s carry forward the warmth, unity, and shared successes from this celebratory season. Here’s to a year ahead filled with collaborative achievements and continued camaraderie. Cheers to the wonderful memories of the ’12 Days of Christmas’ and to the promising journey that lies ahead!

Highlights for 2023

School canopy

As we approach the close of 2023, we wanted to reflect on the remarkable journey we’ve had over the past 12 months. This year has been defined by innovation, collaboration, and an unwavering commitment to delivering excellence in every project we’ve undertaken.

At Twinfix, our dedication to crafting exceptional canopies and roof glazing solutions has been the cornerstone of our achievements across various industries. Here are some of the key highlights that have defined our year:

1. Elevating Educational Spaces: We’ve continued to transform school environments, creating vibrant and functional spaces with our bespoke school canopies. From enhancing outdoor learning areas to providing sheltered walkways, our installations have positively impacted educational settings across the UK.

2. Commercial Canopies: Our dedication to crafting exceptional commercial canopies and roof glazing solutions has been the cornerstone of our achievements across various industries. These installations have not only provided protection but have also elevated the customer experience, offering inviting and weather-proofed environments.

3. Enriching Retail Experiences: In the realm of retail, our canopies have not just provided protection from the elements but have also elevated the customer experience. Our installations have seamlessly integrated with retail spaces, offering inviting and weather-proofed environments for shoppers.

4. Revitalising Outdoor Dining: In response to the evolving dining landscape, our outdoor dining canopies have been a game-changer for various industries. These spaces have not only expanded seating capacity but also provided a welcoming atmosphere for outdoor eating throughout the year.

5. Enhancing Travel Spaces: Our work at railway stations throughout the UK has redefined travel experiences, ensuring commuters have shelter and comfort while waiting for transportation. Our installations have not just been functional but have also contributed to the aesthetic appeal of these spaces.

These achievements wouldn’t have been possible without the collective efforts of our dedicated team, the trust of our clients, and the collaborative spirit that defines Twinfix. As we look ahead to the new year, we are excited about the opportunities to continue innovating and delivering excellence in our industry.

Thank you for being a part of our journey and for your ongoing support. We look forward to further collaborations and successes in the coming year.

Wishing you a joyful holiday season and a prosperous New Year ahead!

East Leake Primary School, Nottinghamshire – Case Study

At Twinfix, we take pride in transforming educational environments, and our recent project at East Leake Primary School in Nottinghamshire exemplifies our commitment to creating inspiring spaces for learning and play.

The challenge was to provide a solution that offered both functionality and safety. Twinfix designed, manufactured, and expertly installed a free-standing mono-pitch canopy spanning an impressive 4.7 meters by 18 meters run. This bespoke canopy featured our innovative Multi-Link-Panel NF (non-fragile) roof glazing system, ensuring durability and safety while maximising natural light.

Our school canopies offer numerous benefits to any education setting beyond just aesthetic enhancements:

  • Durability: Engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions, ensuring longevity and minimal maintenance.
  • Natural Light: Amplifies natural light, creating a bright and inviting atmosphere that enhances the learning environment.
  • Safety: Compliant with safety standards, the non-fragile panels prioritise the well-being of students and staff, reducing potential risks associated with breakage.

To further augment safety measures, post protectors were integrated into the canopy design. These additions provide an extra layer of protection, safeguarding students against accidental collisions or bumps, ensuring a secure and worry-free environment for playful interactions and educational activities.

The installation of the free-standing canopy has revolutionised the outdoor space at East Leake Primary School. It has become a versatile area for various activities, from outdoor lessons to playtime, fostering creativity, and encouraging outdoor engagement regardless of weather conditions.

Twinfix’s commitment to quality, safety, and innovative design shines through the project at East Leake Primary School. The integration of our Multi-Link-Panel NF roof glazing system and post protectors not only enhances safety but also creates an inviting, well-lit, and adaptable space that supports the holistic development of students.

At Twinfix, we continue to pioneer solutions that redefine educational spaces, prioritizing safety, functionality, and aesthetics.

Creating Safer, Brighter, and Inspiring Spaces for Learning – That’s the Twinfix Way.

Enhancing Scotland’s Spaces: Twinfix’s Canopy Transformations

In the picturesque landscapes of Scotland, where the natural beauty and historic architecture intertwine, Twinfix has been at the forefront of designing, manufacturing, and installing canopies and roof glazing to elevate spaces and offer shelter from the elements. Here, we delve into four remarkable projects that showcase our expertise and commitment to enhancing the Scottish landscape.

1. Darvel’s The Corner: A Community Gathering Spot

 Location: Darvel, Ayrshire

In the charming town of Darvel, Twinfix had the privilege of working on a project that truly exemplifies our mission to create inviting spaces for communities to thrive. “The Corner,” as it’s lovingly known, is a community hub that hosts various events, markets, and gatherings throughout the year.

Twinfix was entrusted to provide a bespoke canopy solution that not only protected visitors from Scotland‘s unpredictable weather but also seamlessly integrated with the existing architecture. Our team worked closely with local authorities, designers, and stakeholders to ensure that the canopy not only met functional requirements but also added an aesthetic appeal to the space.

The result? A stunning, Twinfix canopy that enhances Darvel’s community spirit and offers shelter for the vibrant events that bring the town together.

2. Glenmorangie House: A Canopy of Elegance

Location: Tain, Ross-shire

In the heart of the Scottish Highlands, where centuries-old tradition meets contemporary luxury, Twinfix was approached to assist with a project that called for a unique blend of functionality and aesthetics. The iconic Glenmorangie House, nestled amid the rolling hills of Tain, sought to extend its outdoor dining area with a canopy that would complement its timeless charm.

Twinfix’s expert team rose to the occasion, meticulously crafting a vinyl-coated polycarbonate roof for the existing pergola that seamlessly integrated with the house’s architecture. The result was a harmonious union of modern design and historic elegance. This bespoke canopy  adds to the property’s overall allure.

3. Kilmartin Primary School: A Shelter for Young Minds

Location: Kilmartin, Argyll and Bute

At Kilmartin Primary School, where young minds embark on their educational journey, Twinfix was given the opportunity to create a safe and welcoming environment for students. The school needed a durable and attractive canopy to provide shelter to children during outdoor play and learning activities.

Twinfix’s canopies for educational institutions are designed with both safety and aesthetics in mind. Our team worked closely with Portakabin to ensure that the canopy provided an optimal outdoor learning space while also adhering to stringent safety standards.

The end result is a canopy at Kilmartin Primary School that not only protects students from the elements but also enhances the overall learning experience.

4. Kilmarnock Station: A Restoration of History

Location: Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

The Kilmarnock Station canopy restoration project stands as a testament to Twinfix’s dedication to preserving Scotland‘s architectural heritage. When historic structures need a facelift, we’re there to breathe new life into them.

Our restoration work at Kilmarnock Station involved bringing back the grandeur of a bygone era. By carefully refurbishing and replacing the glazing with Twinfix’s expertise, the station’s canopy was not only restored but also made more resilient for the future.

In each of these projects, Twinfix’s commitment to excellence, craftsmanship, and design innovation shines through. We take pride in contributing to the enhancement of Scotland‘s landscapes, whether it’s creating inviting community spaces, blending seamlessly with historic architecture, or enriching educational environments.

At Twinfix, we continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with canopies and roof glazing, and we look forward to bringing our expertise to future projects in Scotland and beyond. If you have a project in mind or would like to learn more about how Twinfix can transform your space, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Together, let’s utilise Scotland’s outdoor spaces and create lasting impressions.

Case Study, Newmarket Hospital

Newmarket Hospital, a cornerstone of healthcare in the United Kingdom, has revealed a remarkable transformation with the addition of a new walkway spanning a total of 99 square meters.

One of the standout features of this canopy is its structure, meticulously crafted from powder-coated aluminium. This choice not only guarantees durability but also reduces the maintenance demands on Newmarket Hospital. In a healthcare setting, where patient care is paramount, this ensures that staff can concentrate on their core responsibilities without the constant worry of upkeep.

The new walkway showcases the innovative Twinfix Multi-Link-Panel Non-Fragile (NF) roofing system, which incorporates polycarbonate glazing. This roofing system is not just about allowing natural light to permeate the space; it’s also about doing so while ensuring adequate weather protection.

This unique roofing system utilises polycarbonate glazing, effectively diffusing sunlight, creating a well-lit and evenly illuminated space beneath the canopy. Patients, visitors, and staff can move comfortably without the discomfort of harsh sunlight or the risk of glare. The canopy also provides effective weather protection, shielding individuals from rain and creating a dry and secure passage, regardless of the weather outside.

The design of this roofing system aligns perfectly with safety standards, particularly in healthcare settings, as it complies with HSE’s drop test ACR[M]001:2019, ensuring it is non-fragile and capable of withstanding potential impacts without shattering.

In a healthcare environment, safety is non-negotiable. The Twinfix Multi-Link-Panel NF glazing meets rigorous safety standards, providing protection against potential breakage. This means that even in the rare event of an accidental impact, the glazing won’t shatter, minimising the risk of injury to those underneath. It’s an assurance of patient well-being, and it’s something Newmarket Hospital takes seriously.

Vicky Evans, Director at Twinfix, commented on the project: “The new walkway at Newmarket Hospital is a testament to the superior quality and design expertise offered by Twinfix. This installation marries durability, aesthetics, and safety, ultimately enhancing the healthcare experience for all stakeholders. We take pride in having delivered a solution that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of Newmarket Hospital.”

This project is more than just a canopy; it’s a symbol of progress and excellence, and it’s a part of the journey toward a better healthcare experience for all.”