Sunday, 27 September 2015

How to make a 7 metre-long protest banner poley-holdy thing (keywords for Google)

Hey friends and allies.

Last time you saw me I was delirious and hysterical because I couldn't work out how to make a structure for the immense 7 metre banner, and I started wondering what the hell I was thinking when I decided that would be a good idea.

After I posted my tantrum online I got absolutely tons of responses from helpful kind people, thank you all, I know some awesome dudes.

I ignored the problem for a few more days, and yesterday Kelly, Claire and Laura, my chief pole consultants, came round to tackle the stupid thing in the garden. And.... it worked!

 Extensive googling tells me that there are no online tutorials explaining how to construct supports for such a long banner. So this will be the first ever one. If you're making a very stupidly long protest banner, follow these simple steps for easy and efficient banner-carrying (I hope).

You will need:

  • Long tent pole, the same length as the banner, one of those bendy ones with elastic through the middle that come apart.
  • Some bits of wood, the height you want your banner to be off the ground. I used 1x2in (ish) pine from B&Q.
  • Some hose clips. The same number as bits of wood.
  • Twenty million cable ties
  • Drill
  • Capable friends

1. Get wood. Drill four holes in the end your banner is going to hang from. There should be enough room between the holes for a hose clip to fit, vertically (I'll show you in a minute).

Claire being rugged

2. Attach hose clamp to the wood using two cable ties in a cross configuration, like this:

3. Do the same to all the other lengths of wood.

looking sweeeeet

4. Realise you haven't got enough wood or hose clamps and send Laura to buy some more. Thanks Laura!

5. Attach all the tent pole bits together and thread through all the hose clamps. Make sure the uprights are roughly evenly spaced, tighten all the hose clamps.

My tent pole is about 9mm wide and the clamps won't tighten that much, so we wrapped strips of fabric around the pole and taped them in place, to thicken it up a bit.

If you look closely you can see Kelly in the undergrowth. My garden is not quite long enough for this project.

6. Attach the banner to the tent pole and uprights in a manner of your choosing. At the march I will probably use cable ties or sew some fabric to keep the banner in place, but for the practice run we just tied it on using the loose threads at the back.

7. Lift the banner up with the help of as many people as you can find. It will be v wobbly but strong enough to hold. Oh, I should mention that we taped round all the joins in the tent pole, to stop it from coming apart.

If you're very lucky you will have a washing line in the way that impedes the banner somewhat, so in this event, send everyone round to the front of the house.

This tip is only really useful for protest marches taking place in your garden.

Finally - hooray! It can stand up.

Here's me shouting, when Laura zoomed in by mistake. I was excited.

You may have noticed that Claire is holding the end of the banner up because the pole isn't bloody long enough. Don't worry, I'm going to add a bit of stick to that end.

8. March! have fun and get the bastards! Basically what I'm hoping is that David Cameron sees the banner and immediately disbands the Tory party. realistic.

so that's how we did it. Whether it will stay upright for the whole day next Sunday... well you'll have to come along and see for yourself won't you! Rest assured I will have a rucksack full of cable ties, tape and glue for emergencies.