Our James Bond Conveyor Commission
Wolverhampton Handling In Top Secret Mission
Every now and again, as a UK belt conveyor builder we get a commission that’s well outside of ‘the norm’. We’re very used to providing roller-based solutions and conveyors for factories and high production areas, but during a staff meeting recently, the conversation turned to some of our more unusual requests.
One of these was providing a conveyor belt for the filming of a James Bond movie back in the 1980s. This was the Roger Moore/James Bond heyday, when the franchise was worth billions, and people queued around the block to see his latest antics, so we were very excited to be involved.
Back then, our slogan (which still applies in principle) was ‘if you can draw it – we can make it!’ – and that’s what drew the set designers to us. They came to our premises with their plans, which we simplified. Once approved, we set about building the machinery and delivering it.
Top Secret Mission
The whole process was very cloak and dagger! We learnt along the way that when a film is in production, it’s quite a common practice to set up a new business in order to hide the real client, so our order initially came from a very innocuous-sounding company.
Delivery followed the same pattern too. We had to take it to a part of the filming studios that had nothing to do with James Bond, in order that none of the crew, or the actors (or the press), got a whiff of what was going on.
Once it was unpacked and installed, there was no hiding it though. Our fantastic green conveyor, (the colour specially chosen as it shows up better on film than black), weaving its way through the set (underground at Max Zorin’s HQ, where he was ready to start an earthquake by blowing up the mountain they were situated under – and wiping out Silicon Valley in the process!)
Once filming was complete, we duly received an invite to the premiere at Leicester Square, a snip at £300 per ticket (remember this was the 1980s, so that’s equivalent to around £650 now)!
We duly declined, and went as a family to watch the film when it was on general release. Our conveyor enjoyed its 15 seconds of fame, when it was used to dispatch the baddie, (he was tied up and transported away on it). Definitely one of our most high-profile moments, but we didn’t let it go to our head, and it was business as usual the following Monday.
We await our next challenge with trepidation, excitement and imagination….