Demolition job attracting avid audiences as Grimsby tower blocks go on their final descent

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 4 May 2018

The demolition of Grimsby’s iconic tower blocks is becoming the town’s fastest growing tourist attraction.

People sitting in cars with flasks enjoying the view and amateur photographers have been touring the surrounding streets of the dominant Albion Street high rises to capture the historic change to the town’s skyline.

Demolition continues of Nelson House flats

Work has progressed on schedule to have Nelson House demolished in around a fortnight.

As the second week of the biggest demolition project in recent memory began, people sat in cars or stood watching the spectacle.

Project manager for dsm Demolition, Greg Lawman said there had been around 40 to 50 people on Albion Street on some days.

He told how high winds had caused work to completely stop one day last week.

But the return of fine weather had allowed his crew of 16 staff to progress the demolition job of the 16-storey high rises.

“We have been inundated with people coming to the gates. “One bloke asked for a brick from each of the towers because he was building a rockery,” told the manager.

He added: “I wish I had a tenner for every time someone asked to have a go on the machine.

“There has been a lot of interest. Most of it is positive. Some people are still asking why it's happening.

“To me it is just another tower. But to people from the area it is their history and you can see them for miles around.”

READ MORE: Grimsby footgolf course opens under new management

The manager said: “It is all going very well and to plan. But the wind can change all the time. If it kicks up we have to stop because of the potential impact of the debris.”

He said a large crusher will be arriving at the site in about three weeks to begin the long task of reducing the amount of rubble.

An estimated 40,000 tonnes of material is expected to be created by the demolition projectand nearly 100 per cent will be recycled.

The £2million Hitachi crane, with its 62-metre extending claw, will gradually haul down each flat. These were homes to thousands of people.

Another 52-tonne crane is on site and a further 30-tonne crane and 38-tonne crane are due to start work soon.


Former Tennyson House resident, Brian Redgrift, watches as demolition work continues on Nelson House

Former Tennyson House resident, Brian Redgrift said: “It has only been going on for a week but it seems very slow.”

He pointed out the exposed lift shaft and the bin shoot.

First to come down is Nelson House, followed by Garibaldi and then Thesiger House.

Mr Redgrift said: “Those three were put up first between 1962 and 1965 and the other three were up by 1968.

“Nelson was the first to get the new kitchens and bathrooms,” he recalled.

“I have fond memories. I would go back tomorrow if there was a chance. Where I am now in Tivoli Gardens is like living in a shoebox."

He told how he lived at Tennyson House from 1974 to 1976 and then again from 2004 to 2014.


Demolition work continues on the Nelson House high-rise block of flats, in the East Marsh area of Grimsby. The first of six blocks facing demolition

He said: “There was a ruling that if children were born into a family they would be moved. We lived on the 14th floor so that wasn’t suitable when our first child was born, so we got moved to Bradley Park. Councillor Madge Elliott was on the housing committee and arranged the new home for us.”

The six tower blocks have been divided into two zones and the next three, Tennyson, Albion and Bevan Houses will come down later.

Another onlooker said: “It will be good if they get more houses, a school and can get Freeman Street sorted out.”

Laura Hicks of Brocklesby Road sat in her car watching the demolition work.

She said: “It is a shame. It would be nice to know what they are planning to do to redevelop the site. But it will be nice to see a change.”

Read more: Today's main headlines from humberbusiness.com



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