The Lions still roar at Wembley
CONWAY AECOM have assisted in saving a little piece of history, in the form of a concrete lion’s head which came from the British Empire Exhibition building. The collaborative efforts of Wembley History Society, Exhibition Study Group, the London Borough of Brent and CONWAY AECOM were inaugurated by Councillor Muhammed Butt through the cutting of a ribbon on Monday 28th July 2014 in Wembley Park.
Brent enlisted CONWAY AECOM’s services to help commemorate the 90 years since the exhibition centre first opened its doors on St George’s Day, 1924. CONWAY AECOM were asked to provide a public platform where local people and visitors can enjoy the Lion’s head corbel. Lions hold a key significance because they held the flagpoles of the future Commonwealth during the Empire Exhibition. The lions have since become an emblem for Wembley, the stadium’s speedway team from the late 1920’s and the ice hockey team were both named the Wembley Lions.
FM Conway arranged for trial holes to be dug to assess the ground conditions and gauge the structural stability of the proposed location. AECOM then designed the plinth based on the condition of the ground and the size and weight of the corbel. FM Conway excavated to the required depth, erected timber shuttering and cast the reinforced concrete in a two stage pour. Once cured, the shuttering was removed and FM Conway positioned the corbel on the plinth. Steel dowels where then inserted to ensure that the corbel was securely fixed to the plinth and finally the concrete was polished.
The British Empire Exhibition buildings were either sold off, demolished, or dismantled to be re-erected at various locations. The final part of the exhibition, which showcased produce and manufactured goods, arts and crafts as well as historical artefacts from each of the dominions, was demolished last year. Three Lion Corbels however were saved and thanks to CONWAY AECOM one now sits proudly in Wembley Park looking at the site where the British Empire Exhibition Building once stood.
“This is a good example of how we're working collaboratively to carry out works for the London Borough of Brent, as well as assisting with key projects such as preserving local history for the enjoyment of both residents and tourists.”