25 April 2018
The Storage Pod Anniversary Story – ten years at the heart of historic brooklands
Time flies when you are having fun and we can’t quite believe that we have been here, located on the famous aviation and motor sport site of Brooklands in Weybridge, providing flexible self storage solutions since 2008.
May is our ten year anniversary and we are feeling nostalgic as we take a look back at what was once here, how we arrived and how we have grown during that time – always focused on delivering friendly self storage with a personal touch.
Brooklands itself is steeped in history. It became internationally renowned as the home of British motor sport during the ‘golden years’ of the early twentieth century.
Being influential in the development of the motor car until the outbreak of WW2, the site also contained an aerodrome which would be home to many early aviation pioneers, pioneering long distance flights during the inter-war period.
The site became Britain’s largest aircraft manufacturing centre by 1918, and following the end of motor racing here in 1939, it continued to be pivotal in the development of aviation technologies. As a centre of innovation and engineering excellence, it was responsible for the design and manufacture of many military and civil aircraft, including Concorde, until the final closure of the last factory in 1989.
Producing over 18,500 aircraft of some 260 different types, Brooklands was Britain’s, and possibly Europe’s, most prolific aircraft manufacturing site. Today significant features of the former aerodrome and race track survive, and we sit adjacent to some of that original race track.
Well connected, and with an industrial background, the site naturally developed into a business park over the years that followed, and we realised the potential to bring an independent self storage facility here which would serve residential and business users across the Surrey area. It was an ideal position for customers to take advantage of excellent connections to local and major road routes and had the space to offer large loading and parking facilities.
Our site was once British Aerospace land and a former bomber site – so as a result we already had two meters of reinforced concrete floors in our foundations, making it possible to erect four mezzanine floors to provide maximum storage space, plus keep a good ambient temperature throughout our lower floors which makes us an ideal site for wine and other temperature regulated storage.
When we moved in back in 2008 we initially developed our ground floor and two mezzanine levels, served by one lift, but quickly grew so completed another two floors and second large loading lift as our first phase filled so quickly.
Early uptake confirmed the demand for this type of solution in the area.
Several of our very first customers are still with us today. First to move in was Christine and Billy Raymond. We weren’t even officially open or with a working lift when they started moving their goods in, but following bad experiences with their original storage facility who lacked the personal touch despite regularly rising their storage fees – they were keen to secure space and move in quickly.
Billy was a bus driver using a depot here at Brooklands, and noticed the facility popping up out of the ground so got in touch. He wasn’t the only one, and with so much interest we built an aisle of Pods on the ground floor ahead of opening just so we could meet early demand.
Christine is a seamstress and keeps a stock of textiles and equipment that she sells at knitting and sewing shows across the UK. They wanted flexibility and convenience from their storage solution and that is where we were able to help. They need to load early and offload late in the evenings, mostly on weekends, so our 24 hour access really suited them and still does.
They have even offered to bake us a birthday cake for the big day! We can’t wait to tuck into that with them. We like to build relationships with all our customers and there is no end to the range of bespoke business and residential storage solutions that we have created over the years – whether it’s a short or long term need we don’t have a set formula, we create a package that works for you.
We now have just shy of 43,000 sq ft of total Pod space, as well as meeting rooms for hire, our reception area which includes docking stations, and other open spaces used for all sorts of things including photoshoots – all with free WiFi. And with planning approved for another four floors we are able to double up on this in future years and future proof our site so we continue to meet demand.
We’ve got some pretty impressive neighbours too including the Brooklands Museum, Mercedes Benz World, The Heights Business Park with many international brand occupiers and Brooklands Community Park for enjoying outdoor activities.
Here’s to another ten years! Pod HQ is celebrating, throwing a Pod Party during our birthday week where you can pop in and enjoy bubbles and nibbles, plus you can enjoy an extra 10% off new reservations taken throughout our anniversary month of May. Cheers to that.