BLACK SABBATH Bench Returns After Major Refurbishment

March 28, 2024

The world-famous Black Sabbath Bench is back in place in Birmingham, United Kingdom city center following a major refurbishment that includes brand new heads for all band members.

The heavy metal bench was first installed by Westside Business Improvement District on the renamed Black Sabbath Bridge across the canal on the city's "golden mile" of Broad Street back in June 2019.

Since then, the bench has arguably become Birmingham and the West Midlands' biggest-used piece of "engagement public art".
It was removed in early February but has this week been returned to its much-visited spot.

Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, explained that the bench had been previously cleaned by specialists several times, but after nearly five years it had badly needed a complete restoration.

Olley said: "Wind, rain, snow, ice and sunshine, along with the traffic fumes present in any city center had taken their toll on our prize tourist attraction. On top of this, the bench has had literally millions of people sitting on it to take selfies for five long years — climbing on it, kissing it and hanging off it in almost every way you can imagine. After all that wear and tear, we knew the bench needed a proper restoration, and so we were delighted that we were able to do so with the help of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund."

He continued: "We carefully chose and commissioned Midtherm to carry out the work, a Dudley-based company which specializes in all types of creative metalwork including laser cutting, enamels, fabrications and stainless steel. They have done a tremendous job, replacing the heads and bench struts with a cleaner, more streamlined material. They even added '1968' to the inscription 'Made In Birmingham' on the base of the bench, which had been mistakenly left off the bench when it was first unveiled."

Mark Jones, sales and marketing director at Midtherm, a family-run business with some 220 employees, said: "It was so exciting to be involved with a project like this, making sure the bench has ended up looking as good as new, if not even better."

The refurbishment has been organized by Westside BID in a project funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The "heavy metal" bench on Black Sabbath Bridge features Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward and sits above the canal off Broad Street. It was officially opened by Geezer and Tony in June 2019 and has since attracted thousands of BLACK SABBATH fans and media from all over the world.

The handmade stainless steel bench was forged in the city by Gateway Steel Fabrications and features images of Osbourne, Iommi, Butler and Ward with the words "Geezer. Ozzy. Tony. Bill. Made in Birmingham 1968" etched on it.

BLACK SABBATH super-fan Mohammed Osama came up with the idea and worked closely with Westside Business Improvement District on the project.

The bench's artwork was created by Egyptian artist Tarek Abdelkawi.

Photo and video courtesy of Dyson Media on behalf of Westside BID

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