Eton College

Read on to see how we helped Eton College erect a temporary boat store next to the River Thames during their 2012 refurbishment.

temporary structure


Eton College is a boarding school for boys with around 1300 pupils between the ages of 13 and 18. It lies just across from the river Thames in Windsor, which is most famous for its royal castle. The college was founded by King Henry VI in the fourteen-hundreds and has continued to be one of the UK’s leading independent schools ever since, educating 19 prime ministers, including David Cameron.

The faculty makes up around 800 members of staff including the head master, finance and administrative teams, numerous deputy managers of different areas such as academic and pastoral, masters, part-time teachers, sports coaches, music teachers, chaplaincy, those who prepare laboratories, look after libraries, set-builders in the theatre, the groundskeeper, clean rooms, cook meals and launder uniforms.

The school also employs three doctors who are well-supported by fully qualified nurses for routine and immediate medical matters.

In 2012/2013 the college went through substantial refurbishment works. Whilst the works were ongoing, Eton required a temporary rowing boat store, which we were privileged to provide.

Rowing became a recreation for Etonians towards the end of the 18th century. Eton authorities considered it dangerous and discouraged the boys as the Thames was used by commercial traffic (and was also used as the sewer). 2017 marks 188 years since the first ever race between Eton and Westminster schools and it began to be actively encouraged by the school authorities around 1860. Eton’s boat club now has more members and boats than any other in the world.

Fabric clad temporary storage shelter


After considering a number of options, the college finally decided on a 350 sq. m. unit approximately. Due to the large volume of members and boats and the frequency of rowing practice, the boats had to be stored in such a way to allow them to be directly accessible. 5 No. 2.4 metre wide sliding doors were therefore installed in one side; this is easily done in a 2.5-metre section modular framework and would allow for easy access to the boats for the athletes.

Being one of the most successful rowing schools in the UK, Eton has a strong record in competition events and many of their pupils have gone on to be selected for junior, senior and Olympic crews, including Sir Matthew Pinsent, Ed Coode and Andrew Lindsay who are all gold medalists.

Many of their club activities have moved onto Eton’s very own, world-class Dorney Lake, which has hosted 18 national and international events and holds various conferences throughout the year, has their own team of caterers on site and is a great space for team building activities. However, many activities still take place on the three stretches of the Thames which surrounds the school. Therefore, the boat store was erected next to the river Thames. There were a few minor access and anchoring issues which had to be solved due to the ground potentially being on the soft side to ensure the maximum stability. The specification and number of anchors were adapted and extra caution was taken to access site with the required plant (all terrain boom lift and telehandler).

The store remained in place for 18 months as planned before finally being removed in June 2014 after the completion of Eton’s refurbishment.