Monday, 8 August 2016

Our World Tuesday, ABC Wednesday, E for Eye of London


Opposite the Houses of Parliament

In the factory of Hollandia in the Netherlands.

After 2000 the Eye of London became a landmark of the City of London. At that time I happened to teach English to a group of adults,of whom several men were involved in the construction of this enormous wheel. Every week they informed me about its progress. I even got  newspapers with the latest news. Enough material for my lessons.

Wikipedia says:
"The wheel was constructed in sections which were floated up the Thames on barges and assembled lying flat on piled platforms in the river. Once the wheel was complete it was lifted into an upright position by a strand jack system made by Enerpac. It was first raised at 2 degrees per hour until it reached 65 degrees, then left in that position for a week while engineers prepared for the second phase of the lift. The project was European with major components coming from six countries: the steel was supplied from the UK and fabricated in the Netherlands by the Dutch company Hollandia, the cables came from Italy, the bearings came from Germany (FAG/Schaeffler Group), the spindle and hub were cast in the Czech Republic, the capsules were made by Poma in France (and the glass for these came from Italy), and the electrical components from the UK.[27]"

On our last day in Great Britain in 2007, we were in London, where we made a short trip on the Thames. Here I saw for the first time the Millenium Wheel or The Eye of London. The guide told us that the construction of  the Eye of London was sponsored by British Airways. I was waiting to hear that he would tell where it was constructed, but in vain..

It was made in Holland at the factory where my eldest daughter was a draughtswoman, who had actually drawn a small part of the Wheel.At that time we were very anxious to see if it could be constructed at all.

 It was designed by David Marks and Julia Barfield, who were architects. 

 A well known Japanese company was first asked to do the construction, but they turned it down. Too difficult!! Then Hollandia in the Netherlands offered to do the job, after the engineers studied long and hard on the project.They even made a model of it. It was going to be the biggest wheel in the world. With a splendid ceremony the green light was given on January, 28th, 1999.The work had to be finished before the beginning of the new millenium.It was an enormous challenge.

The wheel was finished in December 1999 and opened on 31st December.


This photo shows the assembly of the last section

 on a special platform in the river.

The above photo shows one of the four rim sections, which had to be taken to London from Holland. The right photo shows the first section arriving in London.

The London Eye stands 135 metres (443 ft) high on the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames in London, England, between Westminster and Hungerford Bridges.

With thanks to Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC. For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar  This week we are looking for words beginning with E.


Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Wow! That's pretty interesting. I have never heard of this wheel, much less know there was one so huge. Thanks for sharing!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, great post on the big wheel. The view from the top must be amazing. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

Fun60 said...

Good to hear the history of the wheel. It was fascinating watching them winch it up and as you said one of the cables snapped but they managed in the end. It was only supposed to be a temporary installation for the Millennium and then there was going to be a vote for Londoners to decide whether they would like to keep it or not. But it was such a tourist attraction that the decision was made without consulting the people although I would imagine we would have voted for it to stay.


How so very interesting...the history of the 'old one' and the now new one. Too bad they didn't give you the bit of info you were hoping for, tho.

Thanks for stopping by my blog's nice to meet you.

Joyful said...

Very interesting post about the wheel. It looks like they "just" made the deadline for unveiling. Everyone must have been on tenterhooks.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wil -- how very interesting! It is a shame the guides don't give credit where credit is due though! We saw the Eye and heard about it from our tour guide, but not the history you have just told me. Thank you.

Rajesh said...

Eye of London is really enormous. Thanks for sharing.

Lady Fi said...

Great info and shots of the wheel!

rupam sarma said...

Great to read, Awesome pics.Thanks for sharing.

genie said...

WOW!!! What a treat to see how the Eye was put together and then hoisted bit by bit into place. Wish I had known all of this when I rode it. I LOVED seeing all of your photos. They brought it back to life for me. genie

Melody Steenkamp said...

Mooie keuze voor E lieve Wil.... Ik moet nog steeds het grote water oversteken maar het lijkt me wel geweldig daar rond te lopen, de sfeer te proeven en zelf foto's te maken

Leslie: said...

I would LOVE to go up in the London Eye. I did go on the one in Liverpool this year and it had fantastic views, but the one in London is, I believe, bigger and higher. So next time I'm in London, that will be an absolute must for me! Thanks for sharing all the details of the construction and I enjoyed looking at the photos of how it was put together.

abcw team

Arnoldo L. Romero, MLA said...

Thank you for this most informative post about the Eye of London. I had always wondered about the history of this 21st century wonder, but had never taken the time to research it. Blessings!

Roger Owen Green said...

An impressive construction

Norma Ruttan said...

thanks for clarifying what this was- not ever seeing photos of the wheel up close, I thought it was a Ferris wheel- I wondered why they would put one in that location.

Trubes said...

Staggering information Wil,
It is written so well one would
believe you were actually involved
with it's construction.
Great photography too!
Thanks for this most interesting piece.
Best wishes,
ABCW team.

Hildred said...

Thank you Wil, a wonderfully informative post with pictures. The last time we were in London was in 1995, so have never seen this marvelous structure.

Joy said...

Your photos of its construction etc are so interesting as is the cooperative effort to build. I've never felt the need to join the massive queue to ride on it but its nice to look at and now I will do so with more knowledge.

Lea said...

Very interesting!

photowannabe said...

Absolutely fascinating. Thanks for the interesting information and to think your family was involved in an amazing feat of engineering.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I've often wondered about that structure, whether it was a Ferris wheel and how brave you'd have to be to ride it. Great post!