maldn - The Marble Arch Wheel

The Marble Arch Observation Wheel was one of the city’s most unexpected surprises of 2015.
Yet barely anything of the wheel was mentioned by the media. Not one report on its construction or its opening it seems. The only time the wheel made the news was when it broke down.
The wheel was managed by Underbelly Events – whose website at the time also said nothing of the giant ferris.
Work began in mid July. On the 15th on-site preparation was sufficient to enable the steelwork to be erected.

Below is a picture of the wheel, roughly two thirds built. 16 July 2015.
IMG 8104 - The Marble Arch Wheel
During the evening of 16th July, the wheel was almost complete. Workmen can be seen on the bottom section preparing for the final segment. The illumination lights were already working at this stage and these were lit up as this picture taken a little bit earlier shows.
19214226254 - The Marble Arch Wheel
The next picture again taken on the 16th, much later in the evening, as darkness begins to fall.
IMG 8227 - The Marble Arch Wheel

19648867068 - The Marble Arch Wheel
View of the wheel, late afternoon Friday 17th July 2015, showing the construction access point for lorries. All 36 cabins are now in place.
IMG 8704 - The Marble Arch Wheel
The complete wheel seen from the Marble Arch fountains.

The wheel opened on 18th July 2015. Initial advertising indicated it would be in operation until 10 August. Incidentally an extension was gained and the wheel operated until September 2015.
A recreational area with seats and a cafe was provided.
The wheel soon made its way into the national & local news for the first time when a breakdown occurred just days after it opened.
Below: The website
website - The Marble Arch Wheel
Below: MarbleArchLDN’s Tweet showing views from the wheel.

Below: The view looking over Marble Arch and the west end of Oxford Street towards the Telecom Tower (from the MarbleArchLDN tweet)

The wheel’s malfunction on Sunday 19th July 2015:
About 8pm one of the cars malfunctioned and the wheel was halted for safety purposes. Over 50 people were stuck on the wheel and the fire brigade had to bring those stuck on the faulty pod down via ladder. The remainder were brought down by rotating the wheel carefully.
Vitor Gava’s tweet (Vitimgava_) shows the fire brigade rescuing passengers from the faulty pod.

Links to news items on the wheel’s breakdown:
This is Local London
Evening Standard
Other tweets about the wheel:

Clearly a lot of people had misgivings about a huge ferris wheel at such a prime location.

At the time of writing this post (30/31 Jan 2017) the Marble Arch Wheel website was still up 🙂

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