Bexleyheath man takes remote controlled vans to Commonwealth games
PUBLISHED: 11:34 28 July 2014 | UPDATED: 15:43 31 July 2014
An unusual hobby took a man from his garden shed to the action packed Commonwealth Games.
Bob Hammond, 58, of Bexleyheath, attended this year’s games in Glasgow with a fleet of miniature remote controlled vans, which he developed with his friend Andrew Bishop.
A business consultant by trade, Bob worked for more than five months to create the neat and zippy remote controlled vehicles.
He said: “It started with working as one of the field volunteers at the athletics for the Olympics. They used the minis there.
“I said to a friend of mine, Andrew, do you fancy having a go at creating a really simple box that can bring equipment back like the minis did.
“We had a go at it and successfully did it.”
The vans are rendered in 1/5+ scale and have been painstakingly balanced to ensure they can carry their own weight, which is approximately eight kilos.
They are designed to deal with the long throws and, controlled by Bob, will be patrolling the athletics field and safely retrieving hammers, javelins and discuses.
Their strength means they can transport a hammer, weighing more than seven kilograms, from one end of the field to the other with ease and they are taking on one of the most dangerous jobs of the games.
Speaking ahead of the games, Bob said: “It’s a great opportunity to do something so we are really looking forward to it. We leave for the games tomorrow morning [July 24] with all the equipment ready, all the little cars ready to go.
“The less number of people out there the safer, always. You’ve got things that weigh a lot in the case of the hammer and then you’ve got things like the javelin which can be affected by the wind and go into places you wouldn’t expect it to go. If you can minimise the number of people who are out there then the safer it is.
“It allows the event to run faster, quicker and more effectively and it’s a great thing for spectators. There’s these little cars running around, they love it, especially the little ones. They have a great time.
“We try and help as much as we can with that sort of stuff.”
The vans were made with the help of both Presenting Partner of the Athletics, Virgin Media, and Ford.
Ahead of the games Bob and Andrew put the vans through their final paces at Dartford Harriers Athletics Club, Cranford Road, Dartford.
“We were checking them out, making sure everything worked okay and making sure both of the companies were happy with what we were presenting to them,” he said.