The Metropole Hotel Extension
Section Parallel to Praed Street
The section shows the shape of the swimming bath set between
the two 3-metre deep steel beams mentioned in the text.
Huge girder Pink
Swimming bath Red
++COLOUR IN THE SECTION OF THE SWIMMING BATH IN RED
AND THE HUGE STEEL GIRDER BEHIND IT IN PINK
Erecting the huge Top Plate Girders.
The two largest plate girders are each 23 metres long and 3 metres deep. Between them lies the complete swimming pool. The day they and all the rest of the top girders were hoisted into place was memorable. The largest crane in Europe had been booked a year earlier. The crane and its attendant crane, which would help erect it. were parked overnight on the outskirts of London. At midnight they began to move and one side of Edgware Road was blocked off to traffic. Lorries, each carrying one immense beam, began to move at precise times, to arrive in their correct order. The crane was assembled and at this point a terrorist blew himself up on his own bomb in nearby Sussex Gardens. London was under terrorist threat at this period Police immediately closed all surrounding roads.
The erection of these girders had been planned in meticulous detail and could not be halted for a mere terrorist, so
after some time, the work was resumed and soon after dawn lifting started.
A beam was lifted on its huge slings and guided into place with ropes at each end. Then men swarmed on to it, levering bolts into place and tightening nuts. As soon as the minimum fastenings were in place, men walked along the narrow beam as familiarly as if in their own sitting rooms, to release the crane slings. The jib swung round to begin the next lift. This process went on all day until all the beams were in place. The crane was dismantled and departed for somewhere else in Europe. It had been the best side-show in London, with any terrorist danger brushed aside like a fly.
The bomb was the only unplanned action in the whole operation and was brushed aside as a mere annoyance after a short pause.
The stepped Metropole Hotel under construction looking towards Edgeware Road.
To the left is the original Siefert Tower and this was the extension described earlier.