Refurbishing lockers and cubicles

Prime Time for Refurbishment

Refurbishing lockers and cubicles

Summer months can be the perfect opportunity to schedule projects to upgrade and refurbish changing areas and locker rooms in schools and sports facilities. Security and durability are highly important when refurbishing your lockers and cubicles. We can replace locks, keys, locker doors and cubicle locks. We can even add more security to your changing room cubicles with anti-peep rails and anti-finger trap solutions. Helmsman can provide you with a few cost-effective options.

School Sector

School lockers see a lot of action. Vandalism issues aside, school lockers need to withstand daily use. Metal lockers have been a favourite of schools; however, we have noticed a new trend from schools using laminate lockers. Laminate lockers are aesthetically pleasing, more so incredibly durable.

Many schools are still favouring cam locks and swivel locks as a locking system. These locking systems are child’s play to our service department as they are easily interchangeable. Helmsman can offer swivel locks and padlocks as a pair for your school lockers. Locker keys and master keys are easily replaceable. We manufacture keys in-house.

Helmsman can provide metal and laminate colour samples for large projects if doors need to be replaced because of damage or wear and tear. Changing locker doors is a hassle-free job, and depending on the number of lockers, our installation and service team can have it in place in no time. Summer holidays are the perfect time to renew and replace lockers and cubicles. During this time, schools are empty, and maintenance work can proceed efficiently.

Leisure Sector

Leisure facilities, gyms and spa health centres are oozing luxury as they mostly use digital locks for smart-looking lockers. We can replace digital locks or can replace doors and upgrade your lockers with digital locks. The advantages of having leisure lockers with digital locks are endless. Security and convenience is a top priority for the customer.

Helmsman can easily replace your old wrist straps if you still choose to use the reliable key and strap. Master key or locker key replacements are easily achievable and will be with you in no time by post. Other replacement and refurbishment services, including cubicles, can be assessed by a site survey and replaced by our installation and maintenance team.

We offer free consultation about the services you may require and help you decide what is best for your site. Helmsman specialists would be happy to do a site survey for large projects before refurbishing your lockers and cubicles. Our service goes beyond the leisure and school industries. We can refurbish offices and other commercial sites.

For more information, please contact

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Staycation at Holiday Park - Lockers and Cubicles

Staycation Season

Staycation Season

Are you ready for the Staycation Season?

Are your lockers and cubicles ready for the staycation season this summer? Many holiday parks and camping sites will be booked up this year.

As much as we all want that Mediterranean sun, we are still choosing to stay closer to home. Many are choosing to enjoy the summer season of staycations. We have some of the best hiking, coastal spots and outdoor activities right here in the UK.

Holiday parks and camping sites have been refurbished and updated due to the increased number of customers. Many holiday parks have chosen to renew or refurbish their washrooms and changing room facilities such as lockers, cubicles and benches. We are able to create a stylish and contemporary environment. Check out our recent case study on Bunn Leisure lockers refurbishment.

Contact us on 01284 727626 or email us at for a quote and free site survey.

Laminate Heated Two Compartment Lockers

Heated Lockers are ready – choose to cycle to work

Laminate Heated Two Compartment Lockers

British weather is always unpredictable, but cycling to work has never been easier. Many employers offer ‘green’ travel plans and other incentives to cycle to work; it is healthy and protects the environment. However, one of the most important things is having suitable facilities. Instead of having wet clothing or towels in the office, employees can now dry them quickly and easily. We have heated lockers ready, so choose to cycle to work!

Offering the whole package, Helmsman can supply your workplace with shower cubicles, changing room cubicles and heated lockers to dry your damp cycling clothes and wet towels. Helmsman provides heated lockers to many different environments, banks, offices, universities, colleges, ferry terminals, energy companies, oil rigs, ships, farms, tree surgeons, forestry commission, hospitals and much more. Heated lockers are much more than just a drying solution. Helmsman lockers are secure, durable and aesthetically-pleasing, creating a pleasant environment.


Helmsman heated lockers utilise an energy-efficient tube heater as their source of heat. The tube heaters are rated at 60w per 300mm long heater and can be combined with timers and controllers to maximise efficiency. If you need a faster drying time, we can double up the tube heaters to provide more power. All heated lockers are on skirted stands with a single flex for connecting to the mains supply. The minimum number of lockers on a skirted locker stand is two, and the maximum is six. The lockers can be a single or up to two compartments per locker. Our standard locker size is 1775mm high x 300mm wide x 450mm deep. However, we offer bespoke options. Get in touch to view our metal and laminate colour ranges.

Locking Options

We provide the lockers with either a key lock or a swivel hasp lock to take a padlock as standard. Other locking options include coin return or collect locks, mechanical combination, electronic combination locks or RFID as a selection.

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After one week of installation

New Gema Automatic Powder Coating System

Gema is a company with a long history. Founded in Switzerland in 1897 began life as a high-end metal fabrication business and later specialised in metal ceilings. Gema engineers started experimenting with a revolutionary new technology utilising electrostatics and powder paint; this led to the production of the very first powder application gun. The technology was so fascinating and efficient that they started developing and commercialising powder coating guns. Gema electrostatic division was born! Gema became a stand-alone company in 1982 with the separation of the electrostatic division from the original Gema fabrication business. In 2012 Gema became a part of Graco, an internationally leading supplier of fluid and coatings management solutions in both industrial and domestic applications.

Helmsman decided to update a vital part of the machinery, the paint booth. The old powder paint booth served Helmsman for around 15 years. It was time to upgrade to intelligent, faster and more sustainable technology for metallic powders. Gema supplied the initial floor plan of the new automatic powder coating system. Throughout numerous visits, Gema adjusted the drawings to suit Helmsman factory floor layout and size.

Everything has been smooth sailing. Gema pushed to install within around 14 days as agreed. Thanks to Gema engineers and Helmsman professionals working together to achieve this.

Automatic powder coating system has minimum powder accumulation which, saves powder paint and works efficiently. The intelligent airflow distribution and the powder hoses are automatically cleaned with powerful compressed air blasts when changing colour for our metal locker range.

The control system is extremely easy to use. We now have complete control of the metallic powder painting process repeatability. We can call up pre-set programs directly on the touch screen and quickly make adjustments depending upon specific requirements. Our working environment is a lot cleaner and faster pace which means we can push through more orders. We will be making the most of our new machine!

This business expansion has been supported by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, through the Business Resilience and Recovery Grant Scheme. The support provided by New Anglia LEP has not only increased our productivity but is helping our local community by providing opportunities for employment and a more sustainable future.

For information about Helmsman lockers and their specification, as well as about cubicles, vanity units and bench seating, call us on 01284 727626 or email 

New Anglia Logo
Education lockers

An Education on Lockers

When we think about school lockers, those of us of a certain age remember banks of grey metal lockers in changing rooms or small compartment storage in hallways where you swapped out your books for whatever classes were in. They were loud, uninspiring and unattractive.

Today, lockers are an integral part of everyday school life and increasingly form an essential part of the design of the school. The addition of colour, either as part of the school’s identity or to delineate different age groups and areas, has transformed the appearance of lockers, while their use has changed over the years.


Locker manufacturers are constantly developing their products to adapt to modern life. From student lockers to staff lockers, uniform lockers and now PPE, manufacturers such as Helmsman Lockers and Cubicles are always innovating to create the best fit for purpose equipment.

Student lockers

From giving students a sense of identity and ‘contributing’ to health and safety and security, lockers are a way of life for them and form an integral part of the performance of the school. They often provide the school equivalent of a watercooler area where students meet and socialise with those, not in their classes. Functionally they reduce loss and crime allowing for the safe storage of personal items, expensive smartphones and electronics while psychologically they offer so much more.

Teacher lockers

It is amazing how often schools have lockers for students while leaving no provision for other people by offering them mere pigeonholes. Often overlooked as part of the design process, lockers are just as important to staff and teachers as they are to students. The ability to lock away personal items and have the facility for storing uniforms is important. Staff charging compartment lockers are ideal for storing personal bags and items and charging personal phones and other electronic equipment. Modern compartment lockers now come complete with plugs and USB sockets to store phones, tablets and laptops safely, while charging them at the same time and in between their busy schedules.

Post Pandemic teaching

Over the coming years, ‘pandemic’ lockers will be needed to allow for the regular changing of clothes, storage of PPE and other items designed to minimise cross-contamination and infection.

The latest Government guidelines on operation guidance for schools gives best practice advice for schools and colleges and encourages storing as much personal equipment as possible, including bags and coats, to minimise transmission.

More information on lockers and their specification, as well as about cubicles, vanity units and seating, is available from Helmsman on 01284 727626 or email 

Heavy Duty Primary School Lockers
Helmsman 50 year old lockers

50 years on and still going strong!

Helmsman Originals

Sometimes you just get blindsided by customers and in a good way. You just have to take a step back and say wow. We were recently contacted by a nice lady in Shropshire asking about getting replacement keys for a couple of lockers.

Standard practice on this type of enquiry is getting a few photos so we can identify the type of locking system used. Imagine our surprise – and delight – in opening up the pictures revealing these little beauties still going strong 50 years later.

Everything from the old logo to the fabrication to the patina tells a remarkable story. Intrigued, we went back to the customer and asked more. She bought them from a seller in Powys and we believe they’ve had three owners over the years. The previous owner stored them in a potting shed and had in turn purchased them from a farmer for storing his gun cleaning kits.

The recent addition of some castors has turned them into little storage stools for a warehouse and we think they’re set for another 50 years!

If you have great pictures and a story to share about your Helmsman lockers, feel free to email us at

Choosing lockers for your project

Choosing Lockers for your Project

Choosing lockers for your project

Looking into Lockers

With so many different styles of lockers out there in different combinations and finishes, we thought it would be useful to explain the different types and uses.

Gone are the days of rows upon rows of metal school lockers in drab metallic grey and padlock clasps. The choices now for locker specifications are almost limitless giving architects and designers plenty of the scope to realise their creative schemes.


Locker carcasses are traditionally manufactured from aluminium, galvanised steel or stainless steel depending on the area of usage. This is then coupled with a door made from the same material or with compact grade laminate or glass. Banks of lockers are manufactured together with shared side walls and are frequently manufactured with a sloped top to stop the accumulation of litter and to aid cleaning.

The configuration of the lockers can be incredibly varied as can be the locking systems they employ. They can be full height, Z Lockers or multi-compartment with other options such as charging lockers and garment dispensers. Vents and vision panels can also be incorporated to encourage airflow or for areas at high risk such as museums and stations where visual inspection is needed.

Full height lockers are exactly that, lockers that have one opening the entire height of the locker bank. Internal compartments can be added as well as shelves and hanging ability and these are lockers in the purest form. Z Lockers are designed where space is an issue as they maximise capacity in the most efficient way. Each has a garment hanging sector and space for bags or personal items.


Most people don’t realise lockers are designed around the user and the application. Standard lockers are 1775mm high while in schools, for example, lockers tend to be 1 to 3 compartments and are manufactured to different sizes depending on the age. Key Stage 1 lockers are 1250mm high while Key Stage 2 lockers are 1600mm high. Other factors such as height, width and depth are determined by the alcove or space where they’re going to be situated. Helmsman manufactures most of its lockers to size and exact specification.

A Splash of Colour

Lockers can be manufactured from metal, laminate or glass depending on their use. If you’re looking for clean-cut lines and a contemporary look then glass lockers may be the solution. A relatively new concept, they comprise an aluminium locker body with solid grade laminate door and then over-clad with tempered glass. Alternatively, RAL coloured glass is used for the doors.

Laminate lockers offer unparalleled options in terms of colours, designs and styles. Compact grade high-pressure laminate is incredibly robust, strong and secure and is a perfect choice for areas prone to high moisture and humidity as there is no risk of peeling, cracking or delamination. They are fully self-supporting, are easy to work with for cutting and fabrication and have resistance to wear, impact and scratching.


From schools, universities, leisure centres, changing rooms and retail parks through to staff rooms, emergency services and prisons, lockers are unique to their use.

For example, charging lockers are becoming more commonplace. These small lockers are manufactured with various compartment doors i.e. 5, 10, 12, 15, 20, 28, 30 and 40 and come complete with plugs and USB sockets to safely store phones, tablets and laptops or power tools while charging them at the same time.

Anti-bacterial and anti-microbial lockers are popular in areas at risk from cross-contamination and for clean rooms; while food processing plants often also include perforated shelves means they can be hosed down at the end of each shift.

In the pharmaceutical industry, stainless steel lockers are popular as they can withstand almost any cleaning solution and chemicals that are used for sanitisation and therefore is used as their preferred material for lockers.

Garment Dispensers and Collectors are lockers designed to allow employees to collect clean garments while soiled clothing is collected centrally through another locker into a serviced laundry bag. This system ensures that clean laundry for the individual employee is secure and ready for collection at any time of the day or night and not compromised by soiled clothing.

More information on lockers and specification as well as cubicles, vanity units and seating are available from Helmsman, please contact us.

In the meantime, keep an eye on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest projects, news and updates.

New Steel-Framed IPS

We’re delighted to announce that in addition to our timber, we’re now also able to offer a zinc-plated wet spec metal IPS frame for projects where concealed services are required in a wet environment.

We can design, supply and install roll-formed galvanised steel for all projects complete with the compatible ‘push pull’ clip or ‘lift’ system. Suitable for both wet and dry areas, each fabrication is bespoke and made to order to ensure a perfect fit with minimal installation saving both time and money.

Contact us now for more information.

IPS Frames Specification Sheet

IPS Panel Frames Specification Sheet
Our Team here at Helmsman

Christmas Holiday Office Closure

Our office in Bury St Edmunds will be closed from Thursday the 24th of December 2020 and will re-open on Monday the 4th of January 2021. Please remember your emails will be answered upon our return.

From all of us at Helmsman Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We wish you a much better 2021!

Christmas Jumper day at Helmsman

Looking for a new powder coating paint booth

new booth banner

Helmsman Lockers and Cubicles are looking to upgrade 20-year-old paint booths. 

We are looking for a reliable supplier to take this opportunity and send us the best quote for a powder coating paint booth technology. We are interested to see all the necessary information about the product, inclusive benefits and quality images of the product.

All interested suppliers must be from the UK or EU and able to deliver and install the new technology here at Helmsman in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Each candidate will be assessed against the Helmsman evaluation sheet, which includes the best value for money, short lead time and inclusive benefits package.

To apply, please send us a quote to with a subject line: New powder coating paint booth application. Deadline for all applications is Monday 28th of December 2020, 5 pm.

For more information, please feel free to call us on 01284 727626.