Our 1st job was in December 2006- Travelodge were opening a new hotel in Hereford and wanted two guys to abseil down the building dressed as the SAS, throw some smoke grenades about then burst into the building. How hard could it be?
Travelodge had also engaged the services of a special effects company to provide the smoke grenades and to set off a large explosion effect just before we burst into the building. Rigging diagrams, risk assessments and plans were drawn up, equipment and SAS style clothing sourced and all set up ready. Assembled to witness the grand opening were various local dignitaries including the Mayor, pupils from the nearby primary school and members of upper Travelodge management.
We got ready on the roof and as the theme form Mission Impossible played (cheesy and nothing to do with us but made me smile), we dropped down the side of the building, threw some smoke grenades about and ran towards the door. In front of the door the special effects guys had set up a large steel ‘bowl’ angled at about 45’. In it was a small explosive charge, pieces of polystyrene that looked like rocks and a mass of peat. This was covered by some polystyrene tiles. The plan was that we would pretend to ‘rig’ the doorto explode - stand back, the explosion goes off and in we go. Well that’s what I did.. Lee was super keen and leapt over the steel bowl and into the building and it went off behind him. And it went off!! I wouldn’t have called it a small explosion at all and neither did any of the amassed crowd… The children were crying and the crowd and newly tarmaced carpark were covered in peat and pieces of polystyrene. Obviously no one was hurt as that was the point of using these materials but I don't think its what they were expecting.. Travelodge were really pleased with the part that we had played and we had our 1st mini epic under our belt..