Typical British summertime weather dictates that we, as a nation, plan summer event all the while setting up contingencies in case the weather turns rainy. Wimbledon is one of the Great British summer sporting events that can be affected by such turns in the weather. However with the finals being played last weekend and looking back on the two week tournament, the weather seemed to behave this time round.
However when the bad weather does strike at the tournament, players on Centre Court have the protection of Barnshaws Section Benders Ltd’s retracting roof. The roof on Centre Court has been in place since 2009, after Barnshaws were involved with the design and installation of the 1,000 tonne roof. The roof was delivered by Barnshaws in large curved sections before being installed to become the 77 meter long fixture that it is today. Due to its size, additional strengthening work was needed.
Each of the trusses that were required in order to form the roof weighed 70 tonnes and were bent to very strict requirements because of the restrictive installation margins. The roof needed to be balanced, as with the addition of lights and electrics such as motors and locking arms each truss reached 100 tonnes. There were 66 individual curved sections fabricated and then assembled at Watson Steel Structures before being delivered to the construction site.
Following the success of the Centre Court Project, when the decision was made to add a roof on to Court No.1, Barnshaws must have been the obvious choice to carry out the work. This new roof will be created from similar steel sections and is expected to be completed by 2019. Hen this is completed it means that there will be two courts able to continue play when the bad weather strikes, as it no doubt will, at future Wimbledon tournaments.