North Group and architects Covell Matthews, both picked up a Gold in the Judges Award at this year’s Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS) Scottish Awards, for their work on design and build of a replica First World War Trench System.
The work saw North Group appointed as main contractor on recreating a First World War Trench System, designed by Covell Matthews, on behalf of The Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen.
Involving both its in-house joinery and onsite joinery divisions, the agreement was for North to act as main contractor on the project, as well as carry out the works to create the trench.
Work to clear the site began in August of last year, while at the same time North’s in-house joinery division manufactured the framing system that would form the backbone of the new trench. Once the site had been cleared the framing system was installed, and were partially panelled with sawn off cuts of logs to form sections of the walls within the trench. This was complimented by corrugated metal sheeting strip along the bottom of the walls, to help replicate the look and feel of a First World War trench.
North’s team also recreated an officer’s quarters and first-aid post inside of former shipping containers and within the trench walls, the team built in sleeping platforms, a firing platform, toilets and observation post. In addition, over 630 sandbags were installed along the top of the trench, as well as barbwire to add to the cathartic effect of what it would have been like for soldier in the First World War, as well as brass light fittings, in keeping with the era.
The replica trench system, which was completed in time for the Centenary of the end of the First World War, and saw an area of waste ground within the museum grounds converted into the Moffat Trench, in memory Colonel Frank Moffat, who served with the Gordon Highlanders in the First World War and whose daughter, Dr Margaret Moffat, volunteered at the museum for a number of years.
Ian Campbell, Managing Director of North Group, said: “This was both an exciting and unusual project to work on, and we are so happy to see it being honoured at the FIS Scottish Awards. We are grateful to receive this prestigious award, in recognition of the quality of our craftsmanship and the varied range of projects that our team is willing to undertake.”
Bryan Snelling, CEO of The Gordon Highlanders Museum, said: “The Trench has been a fantastic addition to the Museum’s exhibits and has helped us see an increase in visitors this year of almost 50%. This is in no small part to the design and build quality undertaken by North Group and Covell Matthews and I am very pleased to see that this has been recognised by the FIS and would add my congratulations to them both”
North also picked up the Gold Award in the Partial Fit-Out category for the restoration works carried out at the Royal Waiting Room at Ballater Train Station, following the devastating fire.