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Britain Photo Gallery 1 (January Through August 2015)

Britain Photo Gallery 1 (January Through August 2015)

Jehovah’s Witnesses in Britain are relocating their branch office from Mill Hill, London, to a location some 70 kilometers (43 mi) to the east, near the city of Chelmsford, Essex. Between January and August 2015, workers set up the support sites to get ready for construction to begin.

January 23, 2015​—Branch site

With the permission of local authorities, workers cleared felled trees to make room for future development. They were careful to complete the job before the bird nesting season began. The wood chips are being used to provide safe pedestrian walkways, and the timber is being retained for use on the project.

January 30, 2015​—Dining support site

An electrician installs power sockets for video monitors at what was formerly a motel. It is now being converted into a kitchen and a dining room. The monitors will allow construction workers to view spiritual programs such as morning worship and the Bethel family Watchtower Study.

February 23, 2015​—Branch site

Workers install safety fencing that will eventually surround large sections of the construction site. Since the area is semirural, steps are being taken to minimize the impact of construction on local wildlife. For example, at the base of the fencing, a gap of 20 centimeters (8 in.) has been left to allow foraging badgers to continue their normal nocturnal activities.

February 23, 2015​—Branch site

A temporary road is being built to connect the residential support site with the main construction site.

March 5, 2015​—Branch site

View from the east, showing the completed temporary road. As seen at the upper right, the road connects to the main construction site. The outbuildings seen at the bottom left are being converted into apartments to house construction workers. Residential units will be installed in the adjacent fields.

April 20, 2015​—Residential support site

A member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and another headquarters representative visited the construction team. Later that week, a special meeting was broadcast to all Kingdom Halls in Britain and Ireland. It was announced that on the preceding evening, the Chelmsford City Council had given their initial approval for the project to proceed.

May 13, 2015​—Main support site

Workers install a root-protection system between two mature oak trees. This special crossing connects the main support site and the main construction site, allowing heavy equipment to pass without damaging tree roots.

May 21, 2015​—Residential support site

Members of the groundworks team dig utility trenches for temporary housing. In the background are the first of 50 units that will house construction workers during the project.

June 16, 2015​—Residential support site

A plumber installs water pipes for one of the temporary residential units.

June 16, 2015​—Residential support site

View from the east, showing the newly installed temporary homes. In the foreground, foundation bases are being prepared for additional residential units. At the left are the outbuildings of the residential support site, including a dining room for construction workers. The branch will be built on the site in the center background.

June 16, 2015​—Residential support site

A technician splices fiber-optic cable in the telecommunications room. Computer-network and Internet connectivity was needed early in the project to manage all construction-related activities, communicate with other branches, and coordinate efforts under the direction of world headquarters.

July 6, 2015​—Branch site

A contractor measures out the location of exploratory trenches using a GPS device. The trenches help archaeologists evaluate the site before construction begins. Although nearby Chelmsford was settled by the Romans, the 107 trenches dug during the first stage of these evaluations have not yielded any significant artifacts.

July 6, 2015​—Main support site

Cutting door-frame molding to size. Some of the buildings at the main support site are being refurbished and converted into workshops. Temporary offices and support functions will also be located here.

July 6, 2015​—Main support site

Loading a dump truck with soil for backfilling.

July 7, 2015​—Branch site

View of the British countryside from the south of the 34-hectare (85 ac) site. A nearby main road (not shown) provides good access to seaports, airports, and the city of London.

July 23, 2015​—Branch site

Contractors remove existing structures to clear the way for construction of the new branch.

August 20, 2015​—Main support site

A 60-ton crane lowers part of a prefabricated flat-pack cabin into place. In the foreground, foundations for further cabins have been laid. These cabins will be used as coordination offices for the project.