Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The London Eye Mystery

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The London Eye Mystery

by Siobhan Dowd

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd X
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2008, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2009, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

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Interesting things...
about the London Eye

The London Eye, the fantastic and graceful Millennium structure that dominates the skyline of 21st century London, is as much a character in the novel as Ted, his sister and the mystery.

  • It took seven years and the skills of hundreds of people from five countries to make the London Eye a reality.
  • Since opening in 2000, The London Eye has welcomed an average of 3.5 million passengers every year, making it the UK's most popular visitor attraction.
  • The height of the London Eye is 135m/147 yards (equivalent to 64 red telephone boxes piled on top of each other) making it the fourth tallest structure in London.
  • Instead of being suspended under gravity, the capsules turn within circular mounting rings fixed to the outside of the main rim, thereby allowing a spectacular 360 degree panorama at the top.
  • Each of the 32 capsules weighs 10 tonnes*.
  • On a clear day, from the top of the wheel, you can see 40km (25 miles) - all the way from the center of London to Windsor Castle.
  • It can carry 800 passengers per revolution (25 per capsule) - equivalent to 11 full red double-decker buses.
  • The spindle holds the wheel structure and the hub rotates it around the spindle. At 23 meters tall, the spindle is about the size of a church spire and, together with the hub, weighs in at 330 tonnes.
  • The total weight of the wheel and capsules is 2,100 tonnes - or as much as 1,272 London black cabs!
  • The circumference of the wheel is 424m (1.392ft) - meaning that if it were unraveled, it would be 1.75 times longer than the UK's tallest building.
  • Each rotation takes 30 minutes, meaning a capsule travels at a stately 26cm per second, or 0.9km (0.6 miles) per hour - twice as fast as a tortoise sprinting; allowing passengers to step on and off without the wheel having to stop.
  • Tickets cost from £15 (~$25) for a single ticket to £430 for a private capsule complete with guide and champagne.

Visit the London Eye website for photographs, e-cards, a virtual sky ride and booking information

Article by Jo Perry

This article was originally published in February 2008, and has been updated for the May 2009 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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