Island Life Magazine Ltd October/November 2011 - Page 126

BUSINESS Top marquees for James When Island Marquees' James Cave got the call to erect a marquee for 700 people at a famous motor-racing track, he quickly put on his planning hat. The call came from Indian catering company Love Foods, based in Kent, who needed a huge, top quality traditional canvas marquee on a tarmac car park. Several visits to Brands Hatch followed before the final specification was thrashed out and James jumped into action. One of the best things about Island Marquees is that it makes its own canvas marquees to the old traditional Grays of Newport design using a natural canvas produced in India. It’s then taken to Scotland where it is treated and processed. The design has stood the test of time and each 15’ panel can be laced together using the Dutch lacing technique to allow a massive marquee to be built. The logistics for the 170’x 40’ structure were complex and included hiring a 40’ articulated lorry from MP Lightbown and Sons, neighbours to Island Marquees in Blackwater. Armed with a detailed list, James and the crew loaded 432 sections of wooden flooring, 10 large poles, side poles and large metal stakes together with the canvas, linings, doors and a huge assortment of fittings. Anyone who has spent time working with Island Marquees and Grays will be saying: ‘but there are 11 king poles in a 170’ marquee!’ There were - until the client requested one to be removed to make way for the ‘Mandap’, a structure built inside the marquee where the main wedding ceremony would take place. Calling on the expertise of island companies Dees Scaffolding and W Stay and Son, a lightweight metal structure was designed and tested which enabled the offending pole to be removed, leaving a clear view for the 700 guests to watch the ceremony. Building the tent took three days although James was on site for eight to ensure the event was delivered professionally. The result was stunning. A magnificent marquee built and lined in sophisticated plain ivory with a champagne carpet. In the centre was the Mandap, decorated with lilies and showered with red rose petals. The day after the marriage, the wedding party returned to find the dividers had been removed and sections of the carpet had been replaced by a white starlight dance floor. James’s team had also built a stage and set out tables and chairs for a banquet. This sort of work isn’t new to Island Marquees. Over the last few years, more and more celebrity A-listers have been turning to the Island’s