There was a bit of a football competition this year and Brent Cross Shopping Centre wanted to celebrate. It’s called the World Cup?… No, me neither.

They were looking for an installation where the public could watch the football shows. A chance to celebrate the noble sport of grown men chasing a ball around on a grassy field while large groups of onlookers blow primitive trumpets.

Working with Xcite Campaign Management, Plunge designed a life-sized house structure which would fit in with the My Brent Cross brand.

Xcite suggested that maybe we added a clock that would do something every hour… Plunge got carried away and went one better.

Inspired by a ball bearing clock designed in the 1980s we designed and developed a giant clock which tells the time with footballs.

Using Bent steel tube created for us by Anvil Tubesmiths we welded up a massive ball race, with balances and chain drives. this was fitted to an aluminium truss frame from Noble Ox. The rig took us 3 long nights and filled the entire central atrium at Brent cross.

So….. How does it work?

Every minute a ball is lifted up the house and dropped into the ball race. It then rolls down into the minute balance. when the fifth ball rolls in it tips the balance and four of the five balls return to the start of the mechanism but the fifth ball drops into the next balance, the five minute balance. As the minutes tick past the five minute balance gets fuller; 5 mins, 10 mins, 15mins, etc. Then when it hits the hour it tips and all but one ball roll back to the start while one ball drops into the hour balance. As the hours tick past the hour balance fills up until it gets to 12:59. Then at 1:00 the final ball rolls in. It tips the minute balance, one ball drops down and tips the five minute balance and finally one ball triggers the hour balance. this sends a cascade of footballs rolling around the system, emptying all the balances and telling you that it’s 1 o’clock.

Maybe you have to see it for yourselves……