Skilful spark turns temporary structure into spacious pod! An inventive electrician with a penchant for the peculiar hit the headlines recently with his UFO inspired crafty design Martin Johnson, who runs his own electrical business in Pembrokeshire, appeared on the popular Channel 4 show George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.
He turned a former, dis-used, temporary structure that was used to house a generator at the London Olympics into a glamorous glamping pod that can accommodate four people. “It has been a bit of a labour of love that has taken up every spare working hour, but the response has been fantastic,” commented Martin, who is an ELECSA registered electrician.
“We had to keep it a bit of a secret until the show went out, but now it has I have been inundated with requests from people, who want to find out a little bit more about it all.” Martin’s unusual project began back in 2017 when he came across the dome shaped, fibreglass structure for sale on ebay. The Spod, as it was originally called, was an iconic temporary building used in the 2012 London Olympics. Eight were built in total, but Martin does not know what happened to the other seven.
“I thought what a legacy – I have to have it, so I bought it and got it shipped up to Pembrokeshire. It came as this flatpack package but it was a bit bigger than I thought. It is about four metres in diameter and 3.5 metres high. “My wife and I run a small glamping business on some land at the back of our home and the plan was to turn it into a space that people could stay in.
“The theme came from the name really. It was called a Spod so we gave it the name Spodnik and the spaceship / UFO design went from there really.” With more than 30 years’ experience as an engineer and electrician, Martin had to utilise his skills to the full. In addition to adding a supply to power all the lights and electrics, he created a hydraulic operated door from a former disabled access wheelchair lift.
“My skills came in very handy,” he added. “It is quite a complicated design, especially the door which is operated by remote control and has sensors and a smoke machine built into it. It is classed as a moveable building so it has its own internal fuse board with a 16 amp wandering lead.”
The build took around six months to complete – just in time for guests to stay in the pod last July. It cost around £7,000 in total, but it has earned rave reviews on air bnb – and Martin is hoping to add a few more designs to his glamping business over the next few years.
“I am coming up to 50 so in the next ten years it would be nice to think that I can down tools on the electrical side eventually and concentrate on the glamping business.” To find out more or to book your stay visit spodnic.co.uk
If you missed the show you can catch it on 4onDemand online. George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces – Series 7 Episode 6
PICTURE CAPTION: Martin Johnson outside the Spodnik with George Clarke and his wife.