XL Video's Hemel Hempstead HQ sustained only superficial damage during the recent blast that shook the Buncefield oil terminal. The company's offices are only 600 m from the blast's epicenter.
XL Video driver Martin Woolward was at XL on Sunday at the time of the first 6 a.m. blast, and a number of tour trucks were poised, ready to unload that morning. Within an hour, the area had been evacuated, preventing further access to the warehouse or any of the office facilities.
However, it was very much “business as usual” for XL’s 12 shows due to load in on the Monday morning. XL’s project managers were diverted as per the Disaster Recovery Plan to First Network in Northolt. Directors and project managers were able to carry on with phone calls, planning, re-directing equipment, and juggling the logistics to take into account the disruption caused by the blast.
“We accomplished everything we were expected to do by the end of Monday with provisions in place for all jobs up to the Friday," states XL’s Malcolm Mellows, “albeit some elements ran a little late!”
Meanwhile, managing director Lee Spencer dealt with building repairs and office restorations and ensuring that the required back up systems were running. “The main warehouse door was blown off its runners and ended up inside the warehouse," he says. "Some windows were smashed and internal suspended ceilings where brought down due to the shockwave, however the main structure and building exterior is intact.”
XL Video successfully re-arranged and shipped shows on that Monday (Dec. 12) including the CBeebies UK Tour, for the Cape Farewell Organization in Oxford, a gala dinner event at Koko in Camden Town, and a five truck event for a Thomson Holidays event at the NEC.