At Space Station, we're really proud of our heritage as a family-owned company – Space Station was founded by Alastair Caldwell in 1983. Alastair enjoyed a storied career in Formula One before making a massive career leap to the self-storage industry.
Alastair developed a big interest in cars at an incredibly young age, learning to drive at age 12 while living in New Zealand, and getting his license at age 15. Most of his life has been spent pursuing that passion for motor vehicles.
Starting as a mechanic at McLaren for the 1967 Italian Grand Prix, and rising through the ranks to become the team manager between 1974 and 1976, Alastair was a big part of one of the most exciting periods in motor-racing history, and instrumental to the team's success.
The legendary James Hunt was part of Alastair's team – a time that was depicted in the film Rush. Alastair was a consultant on the film and had a cameo as race official, but was portrayed by Stephen Mangan. The film's all-star cast and crew, including Oscar winning director Ron Howard, means Alastair is only two degrees from Kevin Bacon– how many self-storage company owners can say that?
After hanging up his overalls and retiring from F1 and the travelling, Alastair left McLaren and briefly worked with ATS. He considered starting his own racing team, but was determined to be a self-made man rather than relying on team sponsors to pay his wages and ultimately left the sport.
Inspiration comes in strange forms – Alastair landed on self-storage after seeing its popularity during one of his many travels across the US, and realising there was no equivalent back in the UK – there was a definite gap in the market.
It wasn't smooth sailing – it took Space Station a year to get its first customer after a long, hard graft of searching for property and funds. Beginning in shipping containers on the outskirts of Heathrow, in Colnbrook, London the business grew to incorporate more and more sites, ultimately building the fully-furnished facilities we operate out of today.
Sporting heritage is a really big part of the Space Station story, and many of our customers use their units to store big and bulky sporting gear that just wouldn't fit in their homes, ensuring anyone can pursue their sporting passions in as big a way as Alastair has done.
After establishing Space Station, Alastair has returned to the motoring world – most often taking on challenges and tournaments behind the wheels of all manner of weird and wonderful cars. If you ever spot a beautiful classic in a strange corner of the world with a Space Station sticker across the top of the windscreen, make sure you say hi to the driver!