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Allium survey iconic 1960’s HQ Building

Teams of Allium surveyors have been undertaking refurbishment surveys to the massive, former Bird’s Eye Headquarters, in Walton on Thames, Surrey.

The building was designed by Sir John Burnet, Tait and Partners and constructed in 1961-2. The design allowed for an added fourth storey, which the company wanted. However, it was not given planning permission, and instead, in 1967-68 the building was extended by a small addition in similar style, reached via a glazed link.

The building reflected the 1960s predilection for geometric op-art forms in the design of its curtain walling which is enhanced by the reflective pool running the length of the building. As was the trend at the time it incorporates works of art into the design as part of the aesthetic and as a symbol of the company. The building is Grade II listed and work will commence shortly on conversion to residential use.

The building which has been closed for many years has been extensively used as a filming location and is featured in the hit series “24”, starring Kiefer Sutherland and the Kray Twins biopic “Legend”, starring Tom Hardy.

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Historic Buildings Focus

Despite being possibly hundreds of years old and originally constructed without incorporating any asbestos containing materials, many of the country’s most beautiful historic buildings have had asbestos introduced into them for a multitude of reasons during their lifespan.

As regulations on fire proofing and compartmentalisation became stricter and centralised boilers providing hot water and running central heating systems were introduced so asbestos with its fire retardant and thermal insulating properties was often added.

Regulation 4 of CAR 2012 requires the management of asbestos in all non-domestic properties constructed before the year 2000; historic and potentially listed buildings require a careful approach when it comes to asbestos surveys to ensure that a meaningful survey is undertaken without causing irreparable damage to historically important building fabric.

Allium Surveyors are very experienced and competent to plan and undertake surveys within these challenging and important buildings and structures, ensuring that the public visiting or tradesmen working in these properties are safe from deadly asbestos fibres.

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HMS Belfast

From her launch in 1939 until she finally moored up in the Thames in 1971, HMS Belfast a Town Class Light Cruiser led a varied and distinguished career. Initially seeing action in World War II she was severely damaged by a German mine, undertook escort duties in the Arctic Convoys, assisted in the sinking of the Scharnhorst and provided support for the Normandy landings on 6th June 1944. She was then refitted in Plymouth and sent to the Far East. She fought again during the Korean War in the early fifties.

HMS Belfast is now a branch of the Imperial War Museum and hosts over a quarter of a million visitors per year.

Asbestos was used extensively in the construction of vessels of this era, from providing thermal insulation on the steam plant and pipework to fireproofing and anti-condensation products.

Allium’s involvement revolves around the regular ongoing re-inspection of the hundreds of asbestos products on-board to ensure that the encapsulants used remain intact and that should any deterioration of the products occur remedial action can be taken to prevent the release of asbestos fibres.

We are extremely proud to be playing our small part in ensuring the continued life of the vessel for future generations to visit and experience life on a Royal Navy Cruiser.