Queen’s Award for Tockwith Olympic Cauldron makers

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A Tockwith engineering company who built the centrepiece of the London Olympic ceremony 2012 have been presented with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Stage One, manufacturers of the Olympic Cauldron, were given the accolade for Enterprise in the category of Continuous Innovation last Friday by Lord Cranthorne, Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.

The prestigious prize was presented on a specially designed stage in front of more than 90 employees, clients and the media at Stage One’s headquarters in Tockwith.

The award was made in recognition of ten years’ continuous innovation - which included Thomas Heatherwick’s Olympic Cauldron.

Talking about the award, Managing Director Mark Johnson said: “We’re delighted to win Britain’s most prestigious award - it’s a testament to the creative talent, energy and hard work of our highly skilled team of craftsmen, designers, engineers, technologists and artists.

“Our aim is to bring ambitious ideas to life and to push the boundaries of what seems possible through innovation and creative manufacturing, and everything we create is built from scratch here in Yorkshire.

“We’re always developing new technologies, and current innovations include new portable, reusable structures for a full range of touring applications.

Mr Johnson added that he hoped the Queen’s Award would be a “real springboard for Stage One”.

The business began as a traditional staging and scenery building company, and has grown to include corporate clients including Coca Cola, BP, British Airways and Dreamworks.

The Olympic cauldron, codenamed Betty to maintain the secrecy of the project build, contained a set of 204 copper petals, with each petal inscribed with the name of a participating nation.

Three sets of 204 petals were made in total, with one set for rehearsal and one set for the Paralympic Games.

At the ceremony, once lit, the copper petals rose to into a vertical position to form the cauldron bowl.

After the games each petal was mounted on an engraved, black gloss plinth within a clear acrylic box, before being distributed to different nations around the world who took part in the games.

In total the Olympic cauldron consisted of 4,780 individual components, and weighed more than 16 tonnes.

Stage One also designed and manufactured work for the Athens 2004 Olympic ceremonies, the London production of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, Cirque du Soleil’s touring show Zarkana, and touring arena shows such as Walking With Dinosaurs.

As part of the award ceremony, attendees were given a tour of Stage One’s manufacturing facilities, which are housed at Marston Moor Business Park.

They were also given an insight into current projects and development of the business which include building designs for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Mr Johnson added: “Looking to the future, our aim is to play an integral part in as many major international events as possible, and we’ve already set our sights on both the 2016 Olympics, and the World Cup in 2022.”