The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is now approaching rapidly and John and Sim are on site in boots and high visibility vests digging holes, putting up walls, capping unexpected drains and trying not to pull their hair out as they try to transform this

into this

In my quest to meet the people behind the World Vision garden I drove to Pinewood today to meet Ed, prop builder extraordinaire and the man in charge of providing the ‘paving’ for that labyrinth path. Originally it was going to be concrete but the concrete people got cold feet, panicked and ran away so Ed stepped in. Ed makes stuff out of polystyrene and gloop for designers, film makers and gardeners.

Stuff like this (you may recognise it if you’ve been to Marble Arch lately)

and this

(it’s going to be a knight for the soon to be released film Malificent, the gnome in the background was for a garden in France for John and Sim and the cog was part of a bomb for a Bond film)

He has the best ‘to do’ list I have ever seen. It includes ‘knights’ ‘pig’ ‘horses’ and ‘make dragon’! I balanced my tea atop a knight’s calves and his plinth

But I was there to see Ed making a path. Working on a wing and a prayer and with the deadline fast approaching (it has to be finished tonight and John has threatened to kill him if it isn’t done) Ed and his team are working at speed.

The polystyrene is cut to shape and then covered with an acrylic mix which hardens instantly and looks remarkably like stone. Watching them putting it all together was like watching a giant cake being iced.

Ed wanted to show me how the shapes were cut. He creates a 3D image of whatever he is trying to  create using a scanner, the details are programmed into the computer and the robot receives its instructions. He can do anything whether it’s a horse for Nic Fiddian Greene, a knight for Maleficent or me!

Ed makes lots of props for films which are made at Pinewood and he took me on a tour this afternoon. I have walked along Goldfinger Avenue and Broccoli Street, gazed in wonder at the gigantic green screen and huge sets, watched a boat being reversed into a hanger and met some of the craftsmen who make all those movies possible. I have strolled in the footsteps of the stars!

On Sunday, in my post Cybher daze, I’m visiting the site for the first time. Ed’s path should be in place and I can’t wait to see it!

I will be speaking at Cybher about using our blogging voices to bring about change. Helping just one person can make a big difference to a whole community. One drop ripples out. Can you be that drop?

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