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Video – High reach hammer

Breaker goes to work high above Edinburgh.

The demolition of the St James Centre in the heart of Edinburgh has been a long time coming; but work is now underway. And locals are being treated tot he spectacle of a high reach excavator equipped with a hydraulic breaker working high above the city centre.

Douneray race about to begin…

Tendering opening soon for demolition of Scottish reactor.

Companies are being invited to bid for a contract to demolish the Dounreay Materials Test Reactor (DMTR) in Scotland. A contract notice will appear in the Official Journal of the European Union for the project estimated to be worth around £7 million ($9 million) over three years. A contractor is expected to be appointed in the first half of 2018.

DMTR, which became Scotland’s first operational reactor in 1958, tested the effects of irradiation on metals and was the only reactor on the site to use heavy water instead of liquid metal as a coolant. First criticality was achieved in a test rig known as ZETR (zero energy test reactor) located alongside DMTR on 13 August 1957.

Bill Lambie, project manager at Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL), said today: “This month we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first criticality in Scotland, which took place in a temporary test rig. This was an historic moment because it put Dounreay on the map as the UK’s centre of fast reactor research, and encouraged the local population to acquire scientific skills and abilities that have been associated with the area ever since.”

DSRL is now poised to demolish its successor and the oldest reactor on the site. Lambie said: “The removal of DMTR from the skyline will be a significant step for Dounreay, and will be a real and visible sign of the decommissioning progress being made.”

Read more here.

Video – 36 buildings in 20 seconds…

Tower blocks tumble as China carries out biggest ever blast.

36 tower blocks fell in a simultaneous blast in China last week. Using 2.5 tonnes of explosives, Chinese contractors turned a million square feet of real estate into so much rubble in just 20 seconds.

In fact, the buildings fell with such speed that the cameraman struggled to keep up!

Video – If…

The video that was almost never published.

We made the following video almost two weeks ago. We uploaded it more than a week ago. But we kept it unlisted because I couldn’t decide whether it was just too negative to publish.

The truth is, the film was prompted by several recent interviews and discussions with lifelong and high profile UK demolition men, each of whom expressed a deep dissatisfaction for the industry as it exists today.

So no, the following film is NOT all sweetness and light. And no, it may not sit well with some within the industry. But challenges such as escalating insurance costs, late payment and the poaching of staff are real. And, on that basis, we have finally (and slightly reluctantly) decided to share the film with you.

Brought to book…

DemolitionNews editor publishes new book that charts JCB’s recent innovations.

JCB cover 2Mark Anthony, DemolitionNews founder and Demolition magazine edito, has published a new book.

Called “Renaissance: Why JCB is the Apple of the Digger World” – the new book explores the striking similarity in the approach to innovation and product development of the two companies; innovation that brought us the iPhone and iPad and the Hydradig and the Teleskid.

“Apple did not invent the smartphone or the tablet computer. But it took those ideas and made them better; made them desirable,” Anthony says. “Having charted the development and launch of machines like the Hydradig, the Teleskid and the Hi Viz dumper, I was struck by JCB’s seemingly unerring knack for taking a proven machine type and turning that design on its head to create something new and aspirational.”

Although the traditional and formal British values of JCB are seemingly at odds with the less formal American style that permeates through Apple, Anthony says he was struck by the similarities in the approach of both companies.

“I had the idea for this book pretty much immediately after seeing the Hydradig for the first time. Here was an example of JCB taking a largely unloved and underappreciated machine – the wheeled excavator – and making it cool,” Anthony continues. “What was most surprising was that JCB were equally- though privately – aware of the comparisons.”

Anthony explains that – ahead of the writing of the book – he visited the JCB World Headquarters to interview the company’s Chief Innovation and Growth Officer, Tim Burnhope. “I had already started work on the book and even had a front cover design photo on my iPhone,” Anthony recalls. “During our interview, Burnhope repeatedly quoted Apple’s Steve Jobs. I showed him the concept cover photo of a JCB wheel loader taking a bite out of the Apple logo (which we eventually used on the back of the book) and he was astounded.”

And these parallels are more than mere coincidence. During the final stages of research for the book, it transpired that Burnhope had attended Newcastle Polytechnic, the school that spawned Apple’s designer-in-chief Jony Ive. “The more I dug, the more the similarities between JCB and Apple emerged,” Anthony continues.

According to Anthony, the new book is the culmination of a near-30-year relationship with the Rocester-based company. “JCB has been an integral part of my professional life for almost three decades. I even travelled to my wedding reception in a JCB 3CX!” he concludes. “I have visited the factory so many times that my car pretty much knows the way, although that didn’t prevent me having a car accident on the way to the factory during the research for this book. As an unbiased journalist with an international readership, I must remain objective. But there’s a little bit of me that really enjoys seeing a British company continuing to put the Great in Great Britain.”

The new book – Renaissance: Why JCB is the Apple of the Digger World is available from Amazon.

Hunter directors become hunted…

Directors of failed contractor receive ban.

The directors of George Hunter (Demolishers) Limited have been disqualified for allowing the company to continue to incur liabilities despite knowing a petition to wind the company up was before the court.

George Beattie (senior) signed a seven year disqualification undertaking on the 12 April 2017; Michelle Beattie signed a three years and six month disqualification and George Beattie (junior) was disqualified on 31 May 2017 from acting as a director of a limited company by Order of the Glasgow Sheriff’s Court for seven years.

On 20 April 2015, George Hunter (Demolishers) Limited was placed into Liquidation with an estimated deficiency to creditors of £1,755,782.

An investigation by the Insolvency Service revealed the directors had caused or allowed the company to trade to their own benefit and incur further liabilities to the risk and detriment of creditors in full knowledge that HMRC had presented a winding up petition to Court on 14 January 2015 and the company’s liquidation on 20 April 2015.

Despite knowing this, the directors made net payments of at least £155,310.45 to the benefit of connected parties and further offset liabilities due to the company from the directors and connected companies of at least £457,395.72 against unverified charges to the detriment of creditors as liabilities increased by at least £359,097.33.

Rob Clarke, Head of Insolvent Investigations North, part of the Insolvency Service, said: “This was a cynical attempt by the directors, in the clear knowledge that their company was insolvent, to extract money that should have been paid to other creditors. The Insolvency Service will take robust action against this sort of misconduct which is a clear abuse of limited liability.”

Read more here.

Video – Colin Campbell Court on camera…

Gilpin kick-starts Plymouth demolition.

Plymouth’s Colin Campbell Court is coming down; and the project – undertaken by Gilpin Demolition – has been caught on camera.

Video – It is almost time…

New book from the DemolitionNews stables lifts lid on JCB innovation.

All things being equal, today will see an Amazon delivery driver make his way to my front door to deliver the first copies of my latest book, Renaissance – Why JCB is the Apple of the digger world.

The publication of a new book is always an exciting time; but this time it’s even more exciting as it’s the first book I have written (so far) specifically for sale through the Amazon platform.

The book looks at how JCB has emulated Apple in redesigning seemingly established products (the MP3 player and smartphone for Apple; the wheeled excavator and site dumper for JCB) and made them cool and even sexy.

If you’re a JCB fan, if you’re an Apple fan, or if you just like diggers and design, this will be the book for you. You can check it out (briefly) in the exclusive preview video below:

Video – Nikau checks out…

New film charts post-quake demolition of New Zealand hotel.

The demolition industry’s reaction to the massive earthquake that hit New Zealand back in February 2011 has been fascinating to watch. And while for most of us outside of New Zealand that quake (and the second in 2016) have become a distant memory, those events will likely remain fixed in the minds of New Zealanders for the rest of their lives.

They will certainly live long in the memory of award-winning demolition contractor Nikau which found itself at the very epicentre of the post-quake demolition works.

This new film charts the demolition of the Holiday Inn hotel in Christchurch, one of the places worst hit by the 2011 quake:

Kit Talk – Issue 4

The all-new, all-equipment magazine from the DemolitionNews stable is ready to read.

We realise that – for many of our readers and subscribers – the latest developments in business, finance and legislation are about as interesting as a friend’s holiday photos.

And so, for those that love the smell of diesel in the morning, we created Kit Talk – A magazine dedicated 100% to all things demolition equipment.

The first three editions were kept under lock and key and were available only after registering with us. But, having knocked off the rough edges and welcoming on board a better designer, we are ready to unleash the latest edition on the wider demolition world.

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