THE spire at the peak of Britain's tallest building took shape on a North Yorkshire airfield ahead of its installation in London.

Severfield-Rowen carried out a trial build of the 500tonne structure, which later topped The Shard, on land near its headquarters at Dalton, near Thirsk, in November 2011.

The structure, comprising 800 pieces of steel, was set to be installed 80 storeys above the ground in London, with completion due before Christmas 2011, after which glazing would begin.

The latest milestone for the North Yorkshire firm, responsible for steelwork on numerous landmark buildings in the capital, came as an interim management statement revealed that its Indian joint venture had continued to enjoy impressive growth.

The Northern Echo: A Poppy for Armistice Day: Proud parents Nikki Llewellyn and Liam Flounders are celebrating the birth of their daughter Isabelle Poppy

Chief executive Tom Haughey said: "You only get one chance when you take big pieces of steel up to that height and we wanted tomake sure it fits perfectly so we have been doing trial assemblies at the yard next to Dalton.

"There are always challenges and the biggest challenge isn't in making the steel, it is always in the installation at that height.

"We are doing the installation in London now and it should be finished in the next few weeks, subject to the weather not being windy or foggy. It is a great moment for the company."

Elsewhere, teachers and pupils at the former school of Amelia Lily were backing her to win X Factor.

Teesside High School, in Eaglescliffe, near Stockton, launched a Facebook and Twitter campaign to urge people to vote for Amelia Lily Oliver, who was favourite to win the hit television talent show.

She eventually came third behind Marcus Collins and winners Little Mix.

The Northern Echo: Amelia Lily performing at a Celebration of Achievement at Teesside High School in 2009

Finally, a baby born at 11.11am on the 11.11.11 was named Poppy. Isabelle Poppy Flounders made her entrance into the world on Armistice Day just after millions of people observed a two-minute silence.

Her mother Nikki, 28, of Hartlepool, said: "It was very strange that she just so happened to come out at 11.11am on November 11, 2011."

Isabelle was born at the University Hospital of North Tees, Stockton, weighing 6lb 7oz.

Nikki said the middle name Poppy was chosen on Thursday, when medics told her the scheduled Caesarean date.

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