2023 Woking Video & Lighting Upgrade

Our video and lighting setup had been showing signs of its age for some time.  The cameras were of the old standard definition type, so of obsolete specification and one-by-one were slowly failing.  The lighting was mainly the old Fresnel units which, although they had given us good service, were no longer the standard people have come to expect and would not have made the most of new high definition cameras.

Thanks to a legacy left to us by one of our supporters, we decided we should upgrade the installation.

Firstly, we had to seek confirmation from Woking Borough Council that our tenure in the Wurlitzer Hall was not in danger.  Given the current economic challenges faced by Woking, and most other local authorities, they were able to state that no changes were anticipated.

Our chairman Nick Ashton then got quotes from a number of reputable companies capable of doing the work.  This required multiple site visits so that prospective installers could see the job first hand and to discuss the requirements.  It would have been impractical and probably impossible for the volunteer team to have delivered the project themselves, especially given the window of opportunity that we sought.  

Once the committee had agreed on a suitable installer and the cost, Nick then liaised with the leisure centre to get the required and lengthy “possession” of the Wurlitzer Hall that would be required for the work to be undertaken. This was to start after our July show and end before the school summer holiday activities commenced towards the end of the month, a window of just 3-weeks.

The centre staff were most helpful and accommodating, and so the work commenced the day after our July concert, with Nick assisted by Peter Hicks removing all the old lighting and cabling from the overhead mounting bars and trunking.  This was dirty work, as much dust accumulates at that height and it’s also very hot during the summer months.

The old Fresnel lighting and cabling had to be removed before work could commence.  Nick, supported by Peter Hicks, attended late on the Sunday evening to accomplish this important phase.


The aftermath with everything that needed to be taken down now on the floor, cable ties and all!


The next day, the installation team arrived and work proceeded at a pace during the first 2-weeks, with Nick in attendance most days and when he was unable to be there Keith Reeve deputised on a couple of occasions. Here are some of the new cable trays running the length of the hall.


We had decided that a video control point at the back of the hall, therefore closer to the lighting control platform, would be preferable than keeping it at the front, so here is the new termination box being wired up.


Here are some of our new LED lights installed on new overhead rails.  There are now many more lights than in this July shot!


Two of the TS Professional team at work deciding where to mount our area lighting.


Unfortunately it was not possible to complete all the work before the school summer holiday activities started, so negations took place with the very accommodating centre staff for some more time in early September, and most importantly before the first of our autumn shows. 

This was granted and, again with Nick in attendance, the work resumed.  It went right to the wire, as only the day before the September concert was the video control working and Nick had to reconfigure our lighting control PC too!

Much of the work was overhead, necessitating these two tower platforms plus ladders, and here you can see the new video mixing equipment being tested by Nick as two of the TS Professional team work on the towers.


At the time of writing, there is still some work to do to get another camera in the organ chambers plus a few other tweaks here and there, but we are delighted with the effects so far, as are our audiences who have noticed the better set lighting, multiple camera views and especially those that take them into the heart of the action in the organ chambers and foot pedals.


The video mixer allows us to see all the cameras, and then select which one, or sometimes multiple cameras, will be projected onto our screen.


Chairman Nick Ashton vision mixing during one of our autumn concerts.

We would like to thank all the Woking Leisure Centre staff for their help, support and understanding, and to Keith Upton and his team at TS Professional who installed the new equipment.