Although it took place over twenty five years ago, The London Eye remains “the jewel in the crown” for STG. When we first heard of the project, involving the glass accommodation capsules (these were being manufactured in Grenoble), we were told that closing bids had already been received and we were too late. However, having explained our background, we were told that if our proposal was submitted within 72 hours, it would be considered.
Despite the fact that ours was not the cheapest (nor the most expensive), on the grounds that our method/route minimised the risk element, we were successful. Given that there were 32 capsules, each oversize, manufactured from glass – to this day we wonder if we hadn’t “stuck our neck out”.
In any event, primary and secondary corridors were established, ferries were checked, permits and escorts arranged – every aspect being double and treble checked. Given that final delivery had to be via the Thames, barges and tugs (the Mamba & Argonaut) were laid on, tide timetables scrutinised – on the ebb tide, the lowest obstruction being Westminster bridge.
Despite the project duration being reduced from 16 days to 8 days, doubling the frequency, as evidenced, everything went well – all 32 capsules delivered on time and to budget.
Just one of the many anecdotes was the ITN crew filming one of the convoys through France – could we please speak with the police escort and ask them to slow down – we can’t keep up!