Written by David Jamilly.
From humble beginnings in 1988 and two rented garages in Finchley, Theme Traders rapidly grew to become a benchmark name in the British events industry. A phenomenon of the late 21st Century and the incrementally increasing demand for leisure, hospitality and creative services.
In 2017 they moved their entire HQ to a unique custom industrial estate in Oaklands Road, known as Turpin’s Yard.
Turpin’s Yard was a green field site until 1890 when it was piece developed into several quirky industrial and other buildings.
Over the years it has housed a number of businesses including, engineering works, exhibition builders and even submarine radar specialists!! One notable company that operated from Turpin’s Yard was called The Original Prop Shop, which was particularly known for making Disney figures for their Parks.
The entire site has now become a dedicated HQ and production unit specifically for Theme Traders and has been sensitively renovated to retain the integral features and period character of the original industrial buildings.
To suit the operational and functional needs of a professional contemporary creative events production company, the emphasis has been places on ‘flexible space’ which has already resulted in the location being hired for numerous applications including BBC primetime series, art installations, celebrities, commercials and secret immersive events.
The whole area has been architecturally landscaped and some of the large unusual meeting rooms consist of ‘The Loft’ (Manhattan-style Studio), ‘Nautilus’ (Submarine themed 20 Thousand Leagues Under The Sea), ‘Ross’ (funky psychedelic wonderland). Besides meeting rooms, there are vast showrooms, parking for 50 vehicles, modern prop/scenery workshops, costume and tailoring teams and furniture store.
A creative hub and ‘oasis’ in true film studio tradition.
Curiously enough Cricklewood has long and historic links with the film industry and the very first building on Turpin’s Yard was a scenery painting store which serviced Music Hall of the era.
In 1920 Cricklewood housed the largest film studio in the country which was the converted Cricklewood Aerodrome. This was the headquarters for Stoll Pictures in the Silent era.
In 1979 the most famous name in global film lighting ‘Samuelsons’ opened the famous original ‘Production Village’ in Cricklewood Lane which comprised of a pub and several film stages. Some notable British productions were filmed there including ‘Hellraiser’
Theme Traders Production Village is a veritable a hub of creativity and a landmark site in the area.