WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO
IDIDN’T know much about dinosaurs before. I worked on the Magical Lantern Festival in London last year and it is the same company behind Jurassic Kingdom. They asked me to go to China and learn how the animatronic models work. Now I live and breathe dinosaurs.
I’m in charge of unloading the dinosaurs, assembling and setting them up. They are made in China and when I was out there I was taught the necessary mechanics and how to do repairs.
My favourite is the Pachycephalosaurus. I like that it has slightly more movement than some of the rest and is quite cute. Most of the dinosaurs have movement in their arms and legs. They blink and breathe. With the Pachycephalosaurus the whole upper body stands up and moves.
Children stealing the teeth, eyes and tongues is one of biggest challenges. We have lost quite a few and need to get the spares sent from China. We had to make 20 new T-rex teeth because the replacements didn’t arrive in time for one show. We used one of the old teeth to make a mould for a new set.
The dinosaurs are animatronic so bits do break when you are moving them around or get damaged from children swinging off them. We have to fix the computer parts and change the fuses quite regularly. Some of the dinosaurs are very large and have separate heads, tails and legs. Then there are smaller ones which come in one piece so those are quite easy to pick up and move around the site.
The T-rex is probably the biggest battle because it is so large. It is 18m (59ft) long and 10m (33ft) high. Anything that size is going to be a challenge whenever you are building or moving it.
We transport the T-rex head and body on a low loader and you do get some double takes on the motorway. People are always fascinated about what is going on and why we are transporting large dinosaur parts around the country.
I was born and bred in south London but my dad is Scottish and my mum is Irish. I spend a lot of time in Glasgow visiting my grandparents. I’ll be staying with them while I’m working on Jurassic Kingdom. I’m looking forward to home-cooked meals and giving them a VIP tour.
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill job. I started off working in rock ’n’
roll where I did sound engineering and stage management before moving into corporate production management.
There aren’t any unpopular dinosaurs. I’ve found everyone likes all of them. People love the small ones because they are cute and are amazed by the big ones because the scale is impressive. Jurassic Kingdom is at Glasgow Botanic Gardens from today until September 10, open daily, from 10am to 6pm. Tickets start from £11.50 (adults), £9.50 (children) and £38 (family). Visit jurassickingdom.uk