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Tall order for Ringwood builder
A BUILDER from Ringwood had a very tall order to fulfil for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Jim Stride, known around the town as Mr Ringwood after his work organising major events and working with youngsters, was asked to build a huge temporary wall for the ExCel Exhibition Centre in Docklands London to segregate the fencing from the boxing.
The wall was 87 metres long and 10.2 metres high, and used 26 tonnes of board on a metal stud frame.
Mr Stride said: “We were asked not to make any holes in the exhibition halls whatsoever, and so although we started a week before anyone else and it was quiet, the pressure was on.
“We built the wall in seven days flat, which included painting it white, using articulated lorry loads of metal stud, Fermacell board and Knauf insulation.
“Then in September just after the Paralympic Games were over we took the wall down and recycled every last piece – 26 tonnes of Fermacell, 6.5 tonnes of steel and 1,200 pieces of insulation, leaving the exhibition halls as we found them.”
Mr Stride’s firm PJS Solutions used 14 workers for a week to build the wall, and six workers for four days to take it down again.
He said: “Taking the wall down it was like being in a war zone.
“There was heavy machinery whizzing up and down, lorries streaming past and loads of skip lorries. It was a bit stressful with all this going on.
“Overall though, the experience was very good and I am proud to have been part of the Olympics.”