Maybe you have seen the vans around and thought “Whatever do they do?” – well in this first of an occasional series of articles on some of our local businesses we will tell you, starting with TV and Theatre Services (along with Broadland Lifting Services).
If you thought that TV and Theatre were all about precious luvvies performing their hearts out, think again, at the core is rock solid, quite heavy engineering and fabrication. Think stages that move up and down, think lighting gantries, think moving scenery (or even cast) - what do they all have in common? – The answer is weight and the need to move it easily and efficiently. This is where companies like TV and Theatre services come in, they provide the answers, equipment and fabrication to move these at times considerable weights (many tons) around with something approaching ease for the actual production crews.
Formed about 24 years ago by Joe Sowinski and originally operating from Rashs Green Trading Estate for a short while before the company moved to Eastgate Street where it stayed until the end of last year when the problems caused by lack of space meant a move to nearby Horningtoft and their new premises.
Although primarily in the TV and Theatre service industry the company has always provided assistance with,
and testing of, general lifting equipment (Broadland Lifting has always been a trading name to cover that side of the business as it has more immediate connotations for clients of that facet of the business).
The move has meant that it is now potentially possible to separate slightly the different parts of the business as there is now plenty of space for expansion at the new premises with all fabrication work taking place within one large unit whilst another provides a proper stores area for all of the lifting area of the business, wire ropes, chains, shackles, pulleys lift motors et com the ground floor with the first floor given over to manufacture and assembly of all of the necessary electrical control panel that are required by clients.
The additional space is not the only benefit of the move; it has allowed the expansion into more generalizes areas of fabrication, which were very difficult (if not impossible) due to the nature of the old premises. All of the steelwork fabrication for a new galvanizing plant at Haverhill has literally just been delivered to the client in an expansion of the general fabrication side of the business. Joe was originally trained as a toolmaker and specialist welder before moving into studio/stage engineering in Bury St Edmunds and as he put it - “If you can do studio and sound engineering, build elevators and sound doors, lifting stages etc. then general fabrication is actually very straightforward”.
A recent job at a theatre in Northampton saw the installation of a 45 ton lifting stage and the company has installations of their equipment in most countries around the world, however one of their next jobs is a lot more down to earth, being the repair and rewelding of the North Elmham Cricket Club’s batting cage which was damaged when some of the high winds of last year blew over the sight screen straight onto the batting cage!
If you need fabrication work done or have serious lifting needs give Joe a ring on 01328 701 909, he will be glad to give assistance if it is possible.