News Archive - 2012

July 2012

The Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony

One of the biggest events ever staged in London, The London Olympics 2012 Ceremony watched by an estimated 1 Billion people worldwide !

UK Loco Ltd were selected by the opening ceremonies team "LOCOG" to design, build a number of huge props that helped make this a very special occasion for London and hopefully the world. UK Loco Ltd produced working looms typical of the ones used during the Industrial Revolution, along with a crucible that was used to "cast" the Olympic Ring on stage, pouring the seemingly molten metal down into the arena before the finished rings being hoisted up to astound the world and hint at what the UK has contributed over the centuries.
UK Loco's team of technicians enjoyed every part of the build up to the ceremony, assisting with the rehearsals first hand, and even on the night itself. One said "it is great to not only be proud of what we do now, but of the difference the UK's engineering has made to all the countries of all the millions watching' Apparently, his wife was pretty impressed too !



Olympic Torch reaches new heights on London Eye

The Olympic Torch reached new heights as it was held aloft on the London Eye. UK Loco Ltd not only have refurbished all 32 Pods on the Eye in time for London to enjoy them in pride for 2012, to top it they also designed and built the bespoke ladder cage assembly to enable Amelia Hempleman-Adams, pictured above, to carry the torch and the image to the world, enjoying every second whilst in complete safety. Amelia who became the youngest person to ski to the South Pole when just 16, grinned fro ear to ear as she held the flame on top of a capsule on board the giant wheel.


New Hippos Hurtle into Action at West Midland Safari Park !

West Midlands Safari Park has one of the largest Hippo pods in Europe and their numbers have just increased twenty fold with the introduction of a new amusement ride that has taken 7 months to complete.
Hurtling Hippo’s is a fully themed family ride that can seat up to 40 passengers in 20 dancing hippo styled cars and as the name suggests the ride doesn’t waste much time in providing some action. Whilst hippo’s typically spend much of their time in the water, the hippo’s on this new ride may have their feet firmly on the ground for a short time, before they take off at speed to transport the riders into the air, round and round, with sudden changes in direction to add extra thrills.
This is the first amusement ride that has been specifically designed by West Midland Safari Park and is the only one of its kind. Senior staff have worked closely with external agents and manufacturers UK Loco Ltd to complete the project in time for the summer nights – the annual event that sees the rides at the park closing at 9:00pm throughout August.


March 2012

Local MP Gets The Worcestershire Lowdown on his "Ministerial View"

A visit to UK Loco, a specialist and unusual engineering business in Cropthorne today showed local MP the progress being made on completing the view from his ministerial office at the Ministry of Defence.  UK Loco describe themselves as “Creative Engineers” and the company’s clients include Legoland, Disneyland Paris, Alton Towers and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The MP went to see work on the London Eye capsules under a contract awarded to the company in 2009 and due to complete in time for the Olympics.

Commenting, Peter said,

“From my office at the MoD I see the London Eye every day and I have often looked at the “empty capsule”, part of the ongoing refurbishment work. I knew the work was being undertaken in Cropthorne but I wasn’t prepared for the sheer variety of what UK Loco does.  It is a gem of an engineering business of which Worcestershire should be proud and which brings pleasure to millions of people every year.

“I was surprised to discover that UK Loco are also sub contactors to one of the most important projects in my ministerial portfolio – the aircraft carriers.”

Peter was shown round the company by Stephen Pagett, Managing Director and Stuart Watson, Director.  The showed him work the company had done for a wide variety of theme parks and tourist attractions and took him onto the Factory floor to see the work currently being undertaken. This includes a contract for the Olympics opening ceremony but which they could tell him nothing about because the ceremony is still firmly “under wraps”.

Peter was particularly impressed by the work being done on renovating the London Eye capsules which he described as “incredibly sophisticated pieces of engineering”.  The company works on two capsules at any one time. As each capsule is removed, it travels down the Thames to London’s docklands where it is loaded onto a truck and transported to UK Loco Ltd in Worcestershire to be upgraded before returning to the London Eye.  The  non-operational capsule that Peter sees every day will remain on the London Eye until the final capsule is returned.

The London Eye Company has said,

"We are really pleased to be working with UK Loco on this very exciting £12.5 million pound project. We take all our partnerships and associations very seriously in order to offer the best quality, safety and visitor experience possible.  We have worked with UK Loco on other projects within the group before and are therefore confident that they are the best company for the job and know that they are just as excited about working on this fantastic project as we are."

For the aircraft carriers, now being assembled at Rosyth, UK Loco Ltd  were asked by Babcock Marine and Technology Division to design and build two bespoke material handling bogies, each capable of carrying 25 tons and to be battery powered that would last for an 8 hour shift, running on standard gauge rail. UK Loco Ltd used their vast knowledge in this field and came up with the design that would give Babcock’s that exact package.

Peter commented on his visit,

“I was really impressed by what I saw in this creative place of manufacturing and engineering excellence, but the last word should go to UK Loco themselves who describe themselves like this,

“Do you want your guests to be transported to the bottom of the sea in a ruined submarine, or wander carefully through a mangrove swamp startled by wild animals? Come to life on a pirate ship, or live the life of a Cornish tin miner in the 1900's? Our teams delight in assailing all your guests’ senses, bringing all the world to their door, in their reality.””

Peter Luff