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Factory interior JLP01_08_023335

Factory interior JLP01_08_023335


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Historic England

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Factory interior JLP01_08_023335

Murphy Radio Factory, Bessemer Road, Welwyn Garden City, Welwyn Hatfield, Hertfordshire. The interior of the Production Shop at the Murphy Radio Factory, showing the glazed clerestory of a cantilever shell concrete roof above one of the bays.
Construction of the new 300, 000 square foot Murphy Radio Factory began in October 1953. The first contract was for the production shop, boiler house, annexes, roads, drainage and external site work. The production shop featured roofs of cantilever shell concrete spanning the width of the building in 3 bays, while the length was comprised of fifteen bays each 180 foot in length and 30 feet wide. The roofs had clerestories of glazing facing east and west in order to maximise the daylight which reached working areas. Inside the building, service ducts were located under the valleys of the roof. This photograph was published in the March 1955 edition of Laings Team Spirit newsletter

Historic England is the public body that champions and protects England's historic places

Media ID 24091511

© Historic England Archive. John Laing Photographic Collection

1950s Engineering Factory Light


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> Europe > United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > Hatfield

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > Related Images

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > Welwyn Garden City

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > Welwyn

> Historic England > Industry > Engineering and Construction


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print captures the interior of the iconic Murphy Radio Factory in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire during the 1950s. The image showcases the impressive production shop with its cantilever shell concrete roof and glazed clerestory, allowing an abundance of natural light to flood into the working areas. Construction of this monumental factory began in October 1953, marking a significant milestone for Murphy Radio. The initial contract encompassed various essential components such as the production shop, boiler house, annexes, roads, drainage, and external site work. Notably, the roofs were designed with three bays spanning across using cantilever shell concrete while fifteen bays measuring 180 feet in length and 30 feet wide formed its length. To optimize productivity and create a pleasant working environment within the factory space, east- and west-facing clerestories were incorporated into these innovative roofs. These cleverly allowed ample daylight to permeate throughout each bay. Additionally, service ducts were strategically positioned beneath the valleys of these remarkable roofs. Published in Laings Team Spirit newsletter's March 1955 edition by A© Historic England Archive photographer Joh (full name not provided), this photograph stands as a testament to both architectural brilliance and engineering prowess exhibited during that era. It serves as a visual reminder of how industrial spaces could be transformed into well-lit havens where innovation thrived amidst cutting-edge technology.

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