London Olympics – Big Ben

London 2012 Olympics Closing ceremony Big Ben onsite in the stadium

Chris Vaughan awarded us the contract to manufacture a scale model of that classic London landmark, Big Ben, or the Elizabeth tower, as it is now formally known. This piece was designed to be wheeled into place on the slope of one of the ramps on the main stage, for the closing ceremony, and was then anchored through the stage. The tower was to be then rotated to its operating position. The specification called for a faithful look of the tower down to the finest details, including the small dormers, finials and spikes along with working clocks! Unknown to us at the time, Timothy Spall was to be revealed at the top of the clock tower once the actuator powered petals of the roof opened – Brave Man ! It must have been pretty tight inside the building and it was a good job that Timothy was not claustrophobic! The tower was 13 metres tall and had to have a method of being lowered during the show and wheeled off the stage. The whole item was covered in a newspaper print as part of the Waterloo Sunset scene.

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