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Claydon: Firm’s red carpet treatment helps keep stars grounded

06:00 19 February 2014

The Duke of Cambridge meeting members of the public in the crowd, upon arriving for the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in central London

The Duke of Cambridge meeting members of the public in the crowd, upon arriving for the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in central London

A recycling firm played a vital role in helping to keep stars’ feet on the ground at Sunday night’s glittering British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards.

Dame Helen Mirren arriving at The EE British Academy Film Awards 2014, at the Royal Opera House, Bow Street, LondonDame Helen Mirren arriving at The EE British Academy Film Awards 2014, at the Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London

Before the top acting, producing and performing talent from the Hollywood and UK film industry gathered in London for the annual event, Ipswich company Sackers was hard at work preparing the groundwork.

It provided 25,000kg of lead ballast to ensure the temporary accommodation - including the famous red carpet and the marquees - stayed in place on the night.

Later, the cream of the world’s acting talent including Dame Helen Mirren, Cate Blanchett, Dame Judi Dench, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt glided along the securely-anchored red carpet outside the Royal Opera House dressed in their finerie.

Fans gathered to get a glimpse of the celebrities as they arrived for the awards ceremony, which was fittingly dominated by a British-made film called Gravity, set in space, as well as Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave.

The awards took place as the country was battered by extreme weather, including gale force winds.

David Dodds, joint managing director of the Claydon-based firm, said: “We provided the ballast to make sure the red carpet, and marquees, stayed in place.

“We have supplied them for the last six or seven years.

“The aim is to keep everything in place, and it doesn’t keep blown away.

“People don’t realise it is there because they can’t see it.”

There was a lot more to recycling than the public realised, he added, and the firm had fulfilled a number of unusual contracts.

“We supplied 170 tonnes of plastic-coated lead ballast for a Royal Navy submarine in Scotland,” he said.

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