Electrosonic Joins the Big Guns at England’s Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson

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Electrosonic found itself among the big guns – quite literally – when it installed the audio-visual and interactive systems supporting the exhibits at Fort Nelson, home to the Royal Armouries’ national collection of artillery and historic cannon. Electrosonic installed the AV and interactive systems that help interpret both the site and individual exhibits. The museum design was by Haley Sharpe.

Built in the second-half of the 19th century as a response to a perceived threat from the French, Fort Nelson is situated on Portsdown Hill overlooking England’s Portsmouth Harbour. In 1995, it became a Royal Armouries museum and, over the past two years, experienced major redevelopment supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Now, a new gallery showcases 14 of its most famous exhibits with AV support from Electrosonic.

Museum director Peter Armstrong said, “The new-look museum is proving a major hit with the public, and we’ve experienced a major boost to visitor figures since the launch last August, thanks to the new galleries, visitor facilities, education centre, and displays”.

The new “Voice of the Guns” gallery houses the Great Turkish Bombard, a medieval wall smasher from 1464, whose display includes a short video sequence on an LCD monitor built into the caption panel. The same AV treatment is used to describe a German 10.5 cm light field howitzer from 1918 and two anti-aircraft guns used to defend Britain’s south coast during World War II.

The most infamous contemporary armament exhibit is devoted to the Iraqi Supergun. Two sections of the barrel are on display, supported by a big panel sporting a 46-inch LCD monitor, describing how the gun was supposed to work and the role of its designer, Gerald Bull.

A pair of interactive exhibits takes the form of clean-lined, wood-framed map tables. Featuring overhead projectors from Electrosonic, the tables play sequences triggered by visitors who push buttons on a panel in front of them to discover how and why Fort Nelson was built.

Another display appears to show a black-and-white photograph of a Victorian-era recruiting sergeant in a gilt frame. At intervals he comes to life in full color and delivers a dynamic pep talk about joining the Queen’s Army.

The Royal Armouries provided the content for the AV elements supplied by Electrosonic. Electrosonic’s Project Manager was Steve Whiting. The new museum design was by Haley Sharpe and exhibit fabrication by Antomic Woodworking.

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, video conferencing and control rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.