Tonight saw Western Europe’s tallest building lit up in a dazzling display, designed to show gratitude to all NHS staff and key workers across the UK for their tireless work to keep the nation safe throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
NHS workers from Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital were invited to switch on the annual display, which will see the top 20 storeys of The Shard lit up with over 575 LED lights and fixtures.
This year’s Shard Lights features a Morse code message spelling out ‘Thank You’, beamed across the capital in NHS blue and white, interspersed with rainbow inspired accents to reflect the symbols of hope that appeared on public buildings, community facilities and homes across the capital throughout 2020.
Lizzie Rowland, a matron from Guy’s and St Thomas’, who switched on the display, said: “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for everyone and we are not out of the woods yet, which is why it’s so special to see such a touching tribute reflected on Western Europe’s tallest building. The team work and dedication shown across the country has been exceptional and really proves the commitment all staff have to delivering patient care. It has been an honour to represent the NHS, and all key workers across the country, by switching on these lights.”
This seasonal display follows The Shard’s participation in the #LightitBlue campaign in March, which saw iconic buildings around the country turn their lights blue in support of the NHS and key workers. The Shard spire lights have remained blue ever since in a consistent show of support, including a special dynamic display on 4th and 5th July to mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.
“As a beacon for modern London and one of the most iconic buildings in the UK, we wanted this year's Shard Lights to demonstrate our immense gratitude to all the heroes on the front lines, who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe throughout the pandemic. We hope they can also bring some much-needed festive cheer into the daily views of people across the capital.”
The Morse code messages have been verified by The Radio Society of Great Britain, and will be displayed at a speed of two words-per-minute to ensure they can be clearly deciphered by the estimated 8 million people across the city who are expected to view them. Tom O’Reilly, Regional Manager for London and Thames Valley at the society said: “Morse code is a method of communication that has been instrumental in the history and development of our country. It is so great to see it still playing a role in getting important messages out during times of hardship, and what better message to display across London than a thank you to the key workers who have been so brave in protecting us this year.”
This first phase of the Shard Lights will be beamed across the capital every evening until Friday 11th December, when they will switch to a festive theme.
To find out more about Shard Lights, please visit: www.the-shard.com/shardlights. For live updates throughout November and December, follow @TheShardLondon on Twitter and look for #ShardLights.