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Help for Heroes

Rigging two 1.5 ton Christmas trees

The Christmas 2010 fund raising campaign by JCB, on behalf of Help the Heroes, utilised a festive Christmas-themed 200ft barge moored on the river Thames, complete with two giant Christmas trees, two JCB backhoe loaders and a large banner displaying details of how donations could be made.

The challenge for Unusual Rigging was how to rig the Christmas trees – which weighed 1.5 tons each – so they could be lowered to enable the barge to pass under the five bridges between Tilbury, where the initial work was carried out, and the South Bank, where the barge was moored.

The solution was a custom hinged device which allowed the trees to fold flat onto the deck and be raised once the barge had its destination. Guide wires keep the trees upright and provide the additional support required for the 25m x 3m banner strung between them.

Unusual also secured two 8.5 ton JCB Backhoe Loaders to the deck to ensure they didn’t move an inch and provided rigging for the advertising banners around the perimeter of the barge.

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