Did you know these 16 amazing facts about the UK’s tallest wheel? | The Sun

DO you follow Sun Bingo on Facebook? You might have seen a recent competition that offered three winners the chance to bag a £10 bingo bonus.

All you had to do to enter was answer this question – which of these wheels is the tallest:

  1. London Eye
  2. Wheel of Liverpool
  3. Scarborough Ferris Wheel
  4. Blackpool Central Pier Wheel

Did you guess correctly?

The answer is…. A) The London Eye!

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Want to know more about the UK’s tallest wheel?

From superstitious practices to a scaling Spiderman, this London icon wheely has seen it all.

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Eye didn’t know that

  1. Taking London sightseeing to new heights… Not only is the London Eye the tallest wheel in the UK, it’s the tallest in Europe.

    At 135m high, the wheel’s height is slightly more than 27 stacked double decker buses.

  2. It didn’t win first place… The London Eye was a competition entry by married architects David Marks and Julia Barfield.

    The aim was to design a new landmark to celebrate the millennium. The competition was suspended after none of the entries were deemed good enough!

    Fortunately, David and Julia continued with the project.

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  3. Just scrapped through… The wheel’s parts had to be shipped up the River Thames and assembled at South Bank.

    The journeys had to be timed according to the tide so that the water level was low enough for the barges to pass under various bridges.

    The clearance under Southwark Bridge was just 40cm at some points!

  4. Happy New Year… sort of…While officially opened on 31st December 1999 by the prime minister, Tony Blair, safety concerns meant that the wheel wasn’t open to the public until 9th March 2000.

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  5. What’s in a name… The original name of the wheel was the Millennium Wheel, but its formal name has changed quite a few times, as naming rights belong to the sponsor company.

    In 2020, lastminute.com signed a three-year contract as the official sponsor of the London Eye, so it’s currently the lastminute.com London Eye.

  6. Take the wheel for a spin… There’s no need to worry about getting dizzy on the London Eye, as it spins at an impressively slow 0.6mph.

    The super slow speed allows the wheel to continuously move, even as visitors climb on and off.

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  7. It takes a village… During construction, the residents of an alpine village were employed to help test this boarding procedure.
  8. A spider’s web…In 2004, a protestor dressed as Spiderman scaled the London Eye, forcing the attraction to shut for the day.

    It cost the tourist hotspot an estimated £150,000 in ticket sales as the protestor couldn’t be removed safely for 18 hours.

  9. It’s not what you think… Strictly speaking, the London Eye isn’t a Ferris wheel. There are technical reasons why it’s not classified as such.

    This include that the capsules are completely enclosed and climate controlled, and that the structure is supported an A-frame on only one side.

    For these reasons, it’s actually a cantilevered observation wheel.

  10. All aboard… There are 32 capsules, which are said to represent London’s 32 boroughs. Each capsule can take up to 25 passengers, meaning the total capacity is 800 people.

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  11. Eye spy romance… This iconic site has hosted over 5000 proposals and 530 weddings / civil partnerships.

    There’s been on-screen proposals well, with the wheel acting as the backdrop when Jim proposed to Dot in EastEnders, and when Karl proposed to Susan in Neighbours.

  12. Royal treatment… In 2013, one of the capsules was renamed the “Coronation Capsule” in honour of Queen Elizabeth II and her diamond jubilee.

    The celebration was attended by a queen lookalike.  

  13. Not wheely original… Iconic as the London Eye has become, it wasn’t London’s first giant wheel.

    In 1895, the Great Wheel, a 40-car Ferris wheel, was opened for the Empire of India Exhibition at Earls Court. It stayed open until 1906.

  14. Unlucky for some… Despite there being only 32 capsules, they are numbered 1-12 and 14-33, with no capsule 13.

    That’s because of the superstition that 13 is an unlucky number.

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  15. A regular TV and film start… The London Eye has had many cameos in its 22 years.

    It can be seen in films like Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Thunderbirds and Wimbledon; as well as TV shows like The Apprentice, Sherlock and Doctor Who.

  16. Victory lap for Sir Mo… To commemorate the official end of his track career in 2017, Sir Mo Farah completed a circuit of the London Eye while strapped to the top of one of the capsules.

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