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Imperial War Museum

The Client

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Founded in 1917 during World War I, Imperial War Museums (IWM) is a family of five national museums. Each serving as a memorial and record of the wartime efforts and sacrifices of people in Great Britain and the Commonwealth, forced to live in worlds torn apart by conflict. Since opening to the public in 1920, Imperial War Museum has continuously extended its focus to provide insight into ordinary people’s extraordinary experiences of WWI, WWII and subsequent military engagements. The museums are devoted to depicting the history of modern war and its continued influence on our world today, in the most powerful way possible.

The Project

IWM had a requirement for the specialised packingcrate hirerelocation and storage of six delicate art friezes and 3611 linear metres of film, video and sound stock. The project was divided into two phases and carried out on site at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire over the span of four weeks.

The Solution

The main objectives for our Cube Relocations Specialist Movers was to execute a relocation that maintained the integrity of an efficiently organised system of film, video and sound stock storage through the moving process, and also to provide a high-quality storage solution for the delicate art friezes and artefacts during the relocation. With over 20 years of experience of meticulously planning projects to ensure safe and seamless transitions between buildings and locations, our Cube Relocations team provided specialist packing, bespoke crates and daily debriefings during the move to the new location. 

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Imperial War Museum 5

The Process

Phase 1

Prior to the relocation commencement date, our Cube Relocations’ Supervisor carried out an interior buildings condition audit, agreed and signed off with the representative of Imperial War Museum. Protective materials of hardboard, paper covers and correx were installed to protect areas of vulnerability in lifts, main entrances and access routes for the move. For each of the art friezes, a customised crate was carefully crafted by our specialist movers. Once the items were safely packed and signed off by IWM’s representative, these were transported to Cube Self Storage’s climate controlled storage facility to be protectively stored for the duration of the relocation. 

Phase 2

Our specialist packing team arrived on-site with labels, a range of removal crates and library trolleys to label and pack the films, videos and sound files. 180 linear metres were moved per day using 1m lidded crates, 1m wide 3-shelf library trolleys, and 60cm lidded crates for the heavy stock from the 1st floors. As IWM’s shelf widths are approximately 87cm, our specialist packing team placed foam spacers at one end to ensure no movement occurred within the metre crates during relocation to protect the film stock. Each crate was labelled in accordance with our professional packing methodology, with one label outside the plastic crate and another placed inside; the second label acting as a reference point in case the outside label was displaced. The labelled crates were packed into stacks of three, ready for transfer, and were transported across to the new building and placed as per the designated floor plans. Unpacking followed the agreed labelling of bay and shelf locations and if spacing was required, our specialist movers would take instruction from the museum team in regards to leaving a free or empty shelf in-between sections. Each day approximately 207 metre of crates were relocated and at the end of each, our Cube Relocations’ Senior Supervisor would debrief the museum team on which sections had been packed, transferred and unpacked. 

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Project Highlights

Our Cube Relocations’ specialist movers worked closely with IWM to guarantee a smooth and precisely organised relocation. We provided on-site supervision and reviewed activities and deadlines with the site Project Manager daily. The sign-off of the project only happened when everything was fully completed. All unwanted items were cleared and environmentally disposed of. 

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Packing Methodologies

  • Bespoke Crates for delicate Art Friezes 
  • Stock on the 1st floor sequentially packed into our Standard 60cm removal crates due to their weight during movement.
  • All stock on IWM’s standard 87cm shelf placed into metre library crates, with foam spacers at one end to stop stock movement.
  • Ground-floor to ground-floor relocations within the same museum site moved using 1m wide library trolleys for a quicker process. 
  • The provision of  larger computer crates for oversized stock. 

Additional Information

Did you know that you can fly one of the original vintage aircraft at IWM Duxford? Experience the thrill of flying for yourself, whether it’s a quick flight around their historic airfield and museum or a sightseeing flight over London or Cambridge in the stunning art deco De Havilland Dragon Rapide.

Find out more about flight experiences and trial flying lessons here.

Should you require similar specialist moving services, contact us or give us a call on 0800 027 2668 to speak to our friendly team. We will be delighted to be of any assistance to you.

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