Big Screen Plymouth's Screen Producer, Kevin, takes us through his Wimbledon experience.
The Big Screen Wimbledon experience is always popular in Plymouth - especially on days when the sun shines. With strawberries and cream on demand and a refreshing fruit cocktail in hand, it's almost as good as being at the Centre Court itself.
The Plymouth city centre team put a lot of effort into creating a nice environment for tennis addicts. This year Plymouth's Piazza has become an Olympic Live Site - something that has added to the complications of bringing together a programme of summer events. For 2012 the Wimbledon experience has taken on an Olympic look with colourful purple and orange London 2012 design.
All the banners and flags that transform the Piazza had to be ordered before the end of 2011 along with the artificial grass that creates such a satisfying Centre Court effect. Caterers also have to be found to provide the all-important refreshments and 300 fold-up seats need to be booked from the suppliers.
With torrential rain for days on end, a 24-hour dry spell presented itself five days ahead of Wimbledon, providing an essentail respite to lay the artificial grass. It has to be stuck down firmly to survive the battering it gets from strong winds and heavy feet. Special barriers are erected around the perimeter of the Piazza to help segregate the Big Screen audience from regular shoppers hurrying around the city centre.
The first Monday of Wimbledon fortnight always sees as flurry of activity as all the pieces of the jigsaw slot into place. As usual in event planning, there are a few last minute hitches. But at 11.30am on Monday 25th June, the volume on the Big Screen is turned up and the familar strains of the Wimbledon theme tune can be heard across the Piazza. As Sue Barker introduces Day 1 of the world's greatest tennis tournament, an audience is already sitting down to enjoy our Big Screen coverage.
I'm writing this from a snug portable office which has been installed for the duration directly under the screen. For the next few months I'll be spending a lot of time inside my new workplace as a great summer of sport unfolds.