Adaptable marquee hire for a variety of end of term events at Shiplake College

The events

Shiplake College is an independent boarding and day school for approximately 500 boys aged 11-18 and girls aged 16-18. Situated in 47 acres of beautiful Oxfordshire countryside near Henley-on-Thames, Shiplake College is renowned for its outstanding education, excellent facilities and dedicated teaching staff.

End of year prizegiving ceremonies, assemblies and balls have always been important dates on the Shiplake College calendar. After the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to them for a while, the college was keen to make them extra special once they could finally happen again.

The college wanted to hire a marquee that would be large enough to seat 900 guests for the prize giving ceremony, but also to use for the Platinum Ball, the Shiplake Rocks festival, the leavers ball and the final assembly of the year.

The brief

Time Marquees has historically supplied quality marquees for the National Schools Regatta at Shiplake College, so they knew we had the skills and expertise to provide flexible temporary structures that could be multipurposed for a variety of school events.

The prizegiving event and assembly would require seating, while the balls would need a dancefloor and the festival would need a stage. For that reason, Shiplake needed a furniture storage marquee in addition to a main marquee so that the furniture could be safely stored away when it wasn’t in use.

Catering was also a big consideration, so they would need a separate catering marquee.

There are many brilliant minds studying and working at Shiplake, but nobody on earth can ever truly know what the British weather has in store so the marquees would have to be robust come rain or shine!

 Our friendly team of school, college and university marquee hire experts visited Shiplake College to fully understand their requirements and the timescales involved. Following assessment of the grounds where the marquee would sit, we produced a series of floor plans showing how the space could be easily adapted for the various school events.

The solution

We installed and fully lined a 15 x 42m clearspan marquee, a separate catering marquee and a furniture storage span marquee over the course of two days. With their aluminium frame, clear span structures are robust, spacious and well-ventilated. Flooring systems were adapted to the grounds.

Shiplake College hired the frame marquees for five days, using them for five different events. Utilising the structures for multiple school events was a cost-effective marquee package for the school. Our team visited the site during the events to remove the dance floor after the Platinum Ball in time for the seated events, returning to re-install it for the leavers ball.

 All the events were a tremendous success – enjoyed by students, teachers, staff, friends and families alike. As well as creating lasting academic and social memories, Shiplake College raised a phenomenal £13,000 from the Platinum Ball for charity – so top marks to them!

Funds raised were donated to The Chiltern Centre, which empowers young people with disabilities to live life to the full through specialist short breaks, leisure and day care services.

Time Marquees was proud play a part in making these long-awaited school events happen once again.

Time Lapse Video

Here’s a time lapse video of the 15m clearspan marquee installation.

To talk to us about a wide range of marquees for school, college and university events in Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey call us on 0118 973 6444 or email