Wembley Park unveil Olympic plaque restoration by Quintain

Quintain have aided in the Wembley Park 1948 Olympic plaque and 2021 Olympic steps plaque restoration that was recently unveiled.

Wembley Park unveils newly restored 1948 Olympics plaque and new 2021 Olympic Steps plaque on London's iconic Olympic Way. Quintain commissioned and funded the restoration | BTR News
Wembley Park unveils newly restored 1948 Olympics plaque and new 2021 Olympic Steps plaque on London's iconic Olympic Way. Quintain commissioned and funded the restoration. Image credit: Chris Winter / Wembley Park

The Olympic plaques are now back on display for the public thanks to Quintain’s involvement, who commissioned and funded the iconic Wembley Park Olympic plaque restoration project.

The commemorative plaque from the original 1948 Olympic Games, which has deteriorated over time due to wear and tear, has been restored and re-landscaped with support of the British Olympic Association, World Olympians Association, sports journalist and author Mike Collett and Wembley History Society alongside Quintain.

Now, the 1948 commemorative plaque has been restored by stone carver Louis Russell to its former glory.

Wembley Park unveils newly restored 1948 Olympics plaque on London's iconic Olympic Way | BTR News
Wembley Park unveils newly restored 1948 Olympics plaque on London’s iconic Olympic Way. Image credit: Chris Winter / Wembley Park.

A collaboration between Quintain and the London Borough of Brent, Olympic Way as a whole has undergone a major transformation over the last decade.

This includes the unveiling of the Olympic Steps in June 2021, in time for the delayed UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.

“I am pleased to have collaborated with the team at Wembley Park to restore the Olympic Way Plaque, which serves as a rare and valuable physical reminder of the 1948 Games. It is an important historical artefact that has been carefully restored for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.”

Mike Collett, Sports Journalist and Author

On 19 April 2023 a ceremony was held in Wembley Park for the unveiling of the newly restored plaque, led by Cllr Abdi Aden, the Mayor of Brent Council.

The ceremony also included the unveiling of the new Portland Stone plaque, also created by Louis Russell.

The plaque is positioned on a plinth in front of the National Stadium; its purpose will be to signify and celebrate the conclusion of the Olympic Steps and Olympic Way renovation works in 2021.

The event was attended by local dignitaries and members of the local community.

Margaret Winter (née Steedman), daughter of the Borough Engineer Walter Steedman | BTR News
Margaret Winter (née Steedman), daughter of the Borough Engineer Walter Steedman who was responsible in 1948 for the construction of Olympic Way. Image credit: Chris Winter / Wembley Park.

The restoration project was part of the redevelopment of Olympic Way, the famous walkway known to football fans across the world as Wembley Way.

The land surrounding the plaque has been re-landscaped by Goddard and LDA Design, in a move to celebrate the significance of this newly restored piece of British history.

“Few areas of London – of the UK, for that matter – have such a deep-seated sporting history as Wembley Park. We are thrilled to be able to unveil both the restored 1948 commemorative plaque and the new plaque, beautifully bookending Olympic Way.”

Julian Tollast, Head of Masterplanning and Design, Wembley Park
The new 2021 Olympic Steps plaque | BTR News
The new 2021 Olympic Steps plaque. Image credit: Chris Winter / Wembley Park.

The original plaque was unveiled on 6 July 1948 by Alfred Barnes MP to mark the opening ceremony of Olympic Way preceding the original 1948 Olympic Games, also known as the ‘Austerity Games’.

Athletes from a record 59 nations participated in 19 sporting disciplines, with events held at Wembley Stadium and Wembley Park’s Empire Pool – now OVO Arena Wembley.

Originally located on Olympic Way, the plaque was later relocated in 1993 to a nearby scrubland area just above the Bobby Moore Bridge by Wembley Park tube station.

The walkway, inaugurated in 1924 as ‘Kingsway’ was renamed Olympic Way in 1948 ahead of the Olympic Games held at Wembley.

Mr. Alfred Barnes, Minister of Transport, opened the new Olympic Way road | BTR News
Mr. Alfred Barnes, Minister of Transport, opened the new Olympic Way road. Image credit: Margaret Steedman.

The transformation of Olympic Way has included new paving and illumination, a 50% widening of the walkway, and the addition of new restaurants and attractions such as BOXPARK Wembley.

An award-winning tree planting strategy was also implemented.

The new Olympic Steps replaced the monolithic, 1970s ramps known as the Pedway and are equipped with four new high-capacity lifts, each providing space for three wheelchair users and their carers.