THE opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games had everything. There were giant puppets and dance routines half submerged in water. There were Peaky Blinders caps and a hot-air balloon. There was Duran Duran, freshly defrosted from cryogenic storage. And there were enough fireworks to heat a pensioner’s home for the rest of the year.

Granted, there were no dancing teacakes, but they’re so last decade.

The star of the show, however, was a huge mechanical bull constructed from scrap metal.

The Raging Bull is an animal with attitude. The giant angry animal was led out by female chain-makers to represent the Industrial Revolution. The bull broke away and the group then broke their own chains.

Commonwealth Games organisers explained the significance of the scene, saying: “Female chain-makers of the Industrial Revolution were underpaid and overworked. Not only were they responsible for making some of the chains used in the slave trade but they too were enslaved by their dire circumstances. That was until they took back control by participating in the 1910 minimum wage strike.”

But what have bulls got to do with Birmingham? It turns out the animal represents the Bull Ring. Today this is Birmingham’s shopping centre, but it gets its name from its history of bull-baiting and slaughter.

Around 1160, a charter granted the Lord of the Manor of Berm, Peter de Bermingham, permission to hold a weekly market at his moated manor where he levied tolls on the goods and produce sold. This was on the site which is now home to the Bull Ring. The area was first known as Corn Cheaping in reference to the corn market on the site. The name Bull Ring referred to the green within Corn Cheaping that was used for bull-baiting. The “ring” was a hoop of iron in Corn Cheaping to which bulls were tied for baiting before slaughter.

It’s hardly surprising the Commonwealth Games bull was raging, then.

Meanwhile, the Scot behind the creation has explained some of the secrets of how the animal came to life for the opening ceremony.

Michael Dollar, of creative model makers Artem, said it took six people to operate the giant structure. Afterwards it was given a police escort to the city’s Centenary Square where it is now on display.

However, the bull’s celebrity will be fleeting.

Dollar, who is from Glasgow, told BBC Radio Scotland: “On the ninth we will dismantle it. It is a little large to put anywhere really. It is not really built to last forever.”

He said there were not many storage options, other than an aircraft hangar.

As well as models, Artem, which has offices in Glasgow and London, also works in special effects.

Dollar was in the control room last week for the big moment and in regular radio communication with the team on the ground.

He explained: “There are three people inside. One controlling the legs and that’s all computerised, two puppeteers in the front controlling the head and, obviously, a driver and two people doing radio control of eyes, ears, horn, mouth etc.

“It was good fun. They didn’t ask for all that in the first place but we go the extra mile to make it more interesting.”

It certainly was. And much more interesting than a dancing teacake.