To mark and celebrate the completion of the refurbishment of the 33,000m2 Omni Car Park in Edinburgh the delivery team consisting of 50% Makers staff and 50% client’s team were reunited to watch the Calcutta match between Scotland and England.
The refurbishment started back in January 2020 and was hit by Covid, suffering two complete lockdowns resulting in works being suspended with construction workers being sent home by the Scottish Government.
“It was a really difficult time we had over 40 personnel on site and as soon as the announcement was made hotels basically closed and we had to make quick arrangements to make both our operations and site safe, we needed a few days to ensure that the public could continue to use the car park, it was all hands to the pump”.
Darren Wootton, Operations Director.
Despite the disruption by COVID and the Scottish Governments deliberations we were able to return to site but with many events cancelled including the famous Edinburgh Fringe works move on a pace.
The Omni works completed at the end of August 2021 and plans afoot to attend the Calcutta Cup in 2022. England had won during their last visit to Scotland and played in what can only be described as a monsoon.
The Clients team are a very knowledgeable and passionate Scottish contingent with the exception of one South African who were very quick to remind us that they were the current holders of the Calcutta Cup defeating England at Twickenham by 5 points in 2021 but since the first match played in 1879 were trailing somewhat behind England’s 71 victories.
During what can only be described as a bitterly cold and wet day with temperatures barely rising above 4oc the atmosphere in the ground was in total contrast with a large English contingent playing their part in the supporting the team in white.
With national anthems passionately sung by both sides the conditions played their part and despite dominant possession by England the Scottish defence was resilient.
A very close game yet yielded a number of points and tries with Scotland being awarded a penalty try late in the second half for the deliberate knock on into touch. The subsequent sending off meant scores were level but a penalty kick saw Scotland take 3-point lead running out eventual winners 20-17 to the obvious delight of the home nation.
Returning back to the hospitality in the Thistle Suite, and greeted by blasts of ‘Flower of Scotland’ by the welcoming piper the review of the game was held in good humour and discussion about penalty tries and collapsing scrums but event hosts Matt Dawson and Jason Leonard had nothing but praise for the Scottish team.
“It’s been great to see the boys again and the guys I worked with on the project, I’m very grateful to Simon and the Directors for inviting me since my departure to Ireland with my family it’s been a blast”
Steve Baker, ex Makers Contracts Manager
Like all good rugby matches the debates and drinking continued long after the game with our Scottish and South African guides leading us to safe pastures in Edinburgh.
“The whole team have been fantastic and have battled through COVID and the things that the project threw up… the team have been a delight to work with and we have made very close associations with them. Days like today don’t come often enough but our return to working in Scotland has been a very joyous and remarkable one made all the better for meeting some great people”.
Simon Lamb, Managing Director
The Calcutta Cup is highly contested and renowned competition played between England and Scotland as part of the 6 Nations Tournament, completed annually since 1879 in Raeburn Place Edinburgh with the exception of the two world wars, England victors 71 times and Scotland now 42 with 16 draws.
Born from the closure of Calcutta Football Club the cup made from 270 Silver Rupees from the clubs’ estate depicts 4 cobras and an elephant was presented to the RFU in 1878 and has been played for since 1879 and although the first encounter ended in a draw the plate and bands that the cup rest upon holds the names of the captains of both teams and the winning score with the winners holding the cup until the next encounter.
Scotland have wone 4 out of the last 5 meetings so it’s back to Twickenham next year and hopefully a different result.
“The Makers team have been a delight to work with and today, what a day! Their hospitality has been second to none and we hope their heads weren’t too bad for the long journey home”
JP, Contract Administrator