Last week I had much fun joining in with the fellows at Vanguard Holdings in Perivale as they installed Santa on top of their building on the A40 Western Avenue. Regular commuters on this major London artery will be familiar with fighter jets, Snoopy, a replica of Little Ben and other bizarre items perched on this warehouse just down the road from the Hoover Building. Just over a week ago, the firm installed an enormous blow-up Santa. They kindly invited me over to join in the fun.
Next year Vanguard celebrates its 50th anniversary. In former times, its main business was specialist industrial haulage and installation. Projects undertaken included Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Eros at Piccadilly Circus. And – topically – for over 20 years they installed the Norwegian Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square. Vanguard has just published the year by year story of their more challenging and interesting projects on a new web space here. An amazing record. These will give you a flavour of a book which is being written by one of the company’s founders, Mac McCullagh. We’ll keep you posted.
A few months ago, accompanied by Matt Brown of Londonist, I visited Vanguard to see their Hawker Hunter and other fascinating bits and bobs they look after. Matt’s report is here.