EC Harris is one firm that certainly won’t be forgetting the Royal Wedding in a hurry.
The consultant has been overseeing the ceremonial works management for the event and here partner Gordon Baxendale gives an account of how it feels to be in the heart of the action 24 hours before Will and Kate say ’I do’
In years to come when people reminisce about where they were when Prince William married Catherine Middleton, some may vaguely recall celebrating with neighbours at a street party, watching it on TV or on YouTube for that matter. However, for a team of us at EC Harris, the memory will be much more distinct.
Over the past few months I have led an EC Harris team that has been in charge of the ceremonial works management ahead of this landmark occasion. We have project managed all of the various elements of overlay construction along the entire ceremonial route including the media stands and structures, the public address system, the Home Broadcasters Media Village at Canada Gate and the production studios.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the last day as we put the final touches in place:
Early morning team meeting:
With 24 hours to go, the pressure has never been higher and we all have a hectic day in front of us. At the same time however, there’s a real buzz about the place and with the eyes of the world on London everyone is excited about being involved on such a special occasion and focused on ensuring the day is an unequivocal success. The meeting lasts just over an hour and helps focus the team on what needs to be done and allows us to discuss any issues that need to be resolved today
Flying the flags:
Since the London Marathon the team have been working double fast to ensure that the iconic Union Jack flags are safely raised along the entire route including the Mall, Horseguards Parade and on Parliament Square. We perform a last check this morning to ensure that everything is in place and that the flags are looking resplendent in the spring sunshine
With huge numbers expected to gather to listen to the ceremony, we perform a final check of the PA systems installed along the route to ensure that the crowd can enjoy a clear live relay of the entire service as it takes place in Westminster Abbey
After a long day the team gathers to provide updates and to confirm that everything is now in place. I offer a short thanks to all involved for all of their efforts since the turn of the year and then outline roles and responsibilities for tomorrow. We focus particularly on the health & safety procedures and ensure that everyone is well briefed on how to respond in case any non-operational issues emerge tomorrow. We wrap up and encourage everyone to get a good night’s sleep before a very early start tomorrow where we will perform a final walk-through
In the weeks to come, we will all take great pride in being able to say that EC Harris was associated with such a special moment in British history. However, in the immediate aftermath there’s still a lot of work to be done, as the team will be working to a tight schedule over the weekend to ‘de-rig’ the route and remove all of the equipment that has been set up.