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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Star guests see Ozzy the bull roar back into Birmingham New Street station

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The much-loved centrepiece to last year’s Commonwealth Games – Ozzy the bull – has been officially unveiled in his new home at Birmingham New Street station.

Over the last month the huge moving mechanical sculpture has been installed on the station’s concourse for thousands of people to admire in the heart of Birmingham and at the heart of Britain’s railway network.

It’s nearly a year since Ozzy – then known as the Raging Bull – endeared himself to millions across the globe when he formed the climax of the Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony alongside 50 women chain makers to tell the story of the West Midlands’ industrial past.

On the morning of Wednesday 26 July, more than half of the original cast members helped unveil the 10-metre-high beast, which has been named after Birmingham music legend Ozzy Osbourne.

Watching on proudly was his wife, Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy’s older sister Jean Powell and Birmingham 2022 Gold medal winning super heavyweight boxer Delicious Orie.

Today’s unveiling follows an overwhelming public vote for the Raging Bull to be renamed Ozzy – in honour of the Black Sabbath frontman who appeared as a surprise performance in the Games’ closing ceremony last year.

Ozzy the bull’s new home at New Street has been made possible by Network Rail and the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Both organisations worked together with the Birmingham 2022 Games organisers to secure the future of the iconic artwork, when it was removed from public display last September.

In February it was revealed that New Street station would become the bull’s new home, and a major six-month redesign and rebuilding project began.

It’s seen:

  • Approx 50% of the original bull retained with the other half remade.
  • New mechanisms installed so the bull can move its mouth, head, eyes, eyelids, and tail, and speakers to make it roar.
  • The opportunity was taken to rebuild the legs and underside which will now be seen in full 360 degrees.
  • The bull being painstakingly dismantled, trucked to the station and rebuilt
  • Over 7,000 hours of work to make all of this happen
  • Today’s big reveal was timed to happen ahead of Birmingham Festival 23, which starts this Friday in Centenary Square to mark a year since the games began.

Peter, Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill, and Network Rail chair said: “We are really proud to have given Ozzy a new home at Birmingham New Street for thousands of people to enjoy, right at the heart of Britain’s railway network.

“A huge amount of work has gone into making this happen, by many, many people over many months. Ozzy will now not only be a reminder of last year’s unforgettable summer of sport, but also a new icon for the city and its future.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “It’s wonderful to see Ozzy the Bull make its triumphant return to Birmingham – taking pride of place in New Street Station with this official unveiling.

“Ozzy was the iconic and quite simply unforgettable centrepiece of the 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. One year on from the Games, it’s a brilliant reminder of the pride we all felt, perfectly captures the spirit of the Games and will be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. My thanks to Network Rail for providing a base fit for this hometown hero.”

On the unveiling day there has been a brass band, face painting and limited giveaways for people welcoming Ozzy to his new home in the heart of Birmingham.

For the first 10 days he will perform at quarter past the hour between 8am and 8pm, moving his head, roaring to the crowds and swishing his tail.

For more updates on Ozzy you can follow the @NetworkRailBHM Twitter account.

Image credit: Network Rail

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