There is a moment at the end of each project when the installs are complete, the systems are in place, and the vision has finally been realised, when you get to step back, take a breath, and look over what you have created. Last month we were able to enjoy this moment as a team, when we set off along the A55 for the grand opening of Llechwedd's new deep mine tour.
We were first involved with Llechwedd some years ago when we were called upon to install a sound and projection system in their visitor centre. It was clear then that the Llechwedd team had big plans for their attraction, and that we would love to go along for the ride. Well we did, and what a ride it's been! For us, realising the potential of AV for this sector has always been a goal, and reaching that goal as part of a project on this scale has been a great privilege.
Pulling up in the carpark, we suddenly felt very underdressed; there were around 20 men making their way towards reception in tuxes and some rather great dickie bows. Whilst our Piranha fleeces are pretty great, we couldn't help but wonder if we'd missed the dress code memo. It turned out that these well turned out chaps were the Brythoniaid choir, and we were later treated to an incredible performance set against the backdrop of the Welsh slate hills, which I am not too proud to tell you, brought a tear to my eye.
As the official opening moment drew near, we heard a rousing speech from the Welsh minister for culture, sport and tourism which spoke right to the very heart of what we do at Piranha. As well as speaking of his pride in creating opportunities for the youth of North Wales to take, without having to leave their home, he also spoke of the need to breath life into historic attractions and bring education and adventure together.
We mingled with others involved in making this project a reality, and even had our photos taken with Meirion; the tour's new mascot created using augmented reality, and then it was time to descend 500ft down into the mine itself.
This was the moment. The time to step back and see what months of work had produced, and to top it off, we got to experience it with some choir members who had once worked in those very mines. Without giving away any spoilers, the culmination of the tour was impressive enough to even captivate those of us who had installed it. There's something unique about AV which means that you can spend months working on an installation, but when you finally see it in action, the sheer scale can still be breathtaking.
It's safe to say we had a pretty slate day (get it), and have loved every minute of working on this tour. Let's see where AV for the visitor attraction sector will take us next...