AN innovative Worcestershire engineering company was at the heart of the blockbuster Olympic Games opening ceremony.
UK Loco, which has its factory and workshops in the Vale of Evesham village of Cropthorne and specialises in cutting-edge products for the theme park and entertainment industry, contributed to the stunning Industrial Revolution phase of the event.
Engineering sales manager Rob Barnes said: “We made working looms that were typical of the ones used during the Industrial Revolution, along with a crucible that was used to cast the Olympic ring on stage before it was hoisted up for the world to see.”
An estimated one billion people worldwide watched the ceremony, which has been hailed a triumph for its creator, film director Danny Boyle.
“We first became involved last November when we had a brief of the parts of the ceremony we would be interested in,” Mr Barnes added.
“We were told the themes of the event and tendered for the work that would suit us.”
The huge models took about eight months to make and assemble at the company’s 7,000 sq ft factory and were then transported down to the Olympic stadium for eight weeks of rehearsals.
On the night, eight UK Loco technicians actually took part in the ceremony, playing the roles of engineers during the Industrial Revolution sequence.
“It was a quite amazing spectacle,” said Mr Barnes, “and great to see it all come together during the weeks of rehearsals, when, of course, we had to keep everything secret.”
UK Loco has also been involved in another, rather more public, aspect of the Olympics, having refurbished all the capsules of the iconic London Eye ready for the historic event.