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Video – Wigan Pier nightclub falls…

Hard hats optional, apparently, as town says goodbye to local nightspot.

The Pier nightclub was the destination of choice for thousands of “Madchester” ravers from across the North West of England.

But like The Farm, Inspiral Carpets, Mock Turtles and New Fast Automatic Daffodils and other bands of the era whose music inspired the “vibe” (man) at The Pier, the venue has seen better days. And now it is coming down.

We just swiped this video from YouTube so the guy in the foreground who is apparently too tough to wear a hard hat is nothing to do with us. Maybe the guy with the camera at the 1.30 mark is an HSE inspector collecting evidence:

Keltbray confirmed as exhibitionists…

UK’s largest demolition company to start demolition of Earl’s Court exhibition centre in New Year.

Developer Capital & Counties has today confirmed that Keltbray will start demolition in February of the famous Earls Court exhibition halls in West London.

The vast job is due to take 18 months to two years to complete, paving the way for major construction works to create a new 7,500-home neighbourhood.

Sir Robert McAlpine and Keltbray have been on board as construction and demolition advisers on the vast project.

The first phase of the £3 billion Earls Court scheme at Lillie Square has been pre-let and enabling works are almost complete.

The demolition is not without its detractors, however. Indeed, the Save Earl’s Court lobby has been both vocal and active since the concept of replacing the ageing exhibition and concert venue with housing was first mooted.

Eight killed in Ivory Coast demolition…

Building collapse claims the lives of eight workers.

At least eight construction workers have died in Ivory’s Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan in a botched building demolition, a municipal official said Thursday.

The accident took place on Wednesday at Attecoube, a working-class district of the port city, when 20 workers demolishing a four-storey building that had been condemned as unsafe collapsed on them.

“At least eight bodies were taken from the rubble during the search which lasted all night,” said Attecoube municipal official Theodore Koffi.

Nine people were rescued by emergency workers of whom one was described to be in a serious condition.

A top official from the construction ministry said the demolition was part of a plan to clear the city of unsafe buildings. He said the demolition had been sub-contracted to a private firm.

Read more here.

Comment – Treating the symptoms, not the cause…

Who is really to blame when a non-professional demolition goes awry.

The construction industry news portal The Construction Index (TCI) today carries a story about a company that has been fined £8,000 after a botched demolition sent masonry crashing into a neighbouring property through a skylight, narrowly missing an occupant.

That story comes courtesy of the Health and Safety Executive which brought the prosecution against Stanmore-based Axis Build Ltd. According to the story, an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found the incident could have easily been avoided had Axis Build Ltd involved a competent person, such as a structural engineer, in the planning process.

I have no doubt that this is a valid conclusion to draw. However, is the story not also failing to recognise the presence of a large, grey pachyderm in the room?
Yes, Axis Build probably should have employed the services of a structural engineer. But then again, should the mysteriously unnamed client have employed the services of an actual demolition company in the first place?

According to the story, the demolition involved use of an excavator to take down the building, precisely the kind of work that demolition companies are trained for. It also required workers to work at height, again a familiar environment for demolition professionals.

But no. Somewhere along the line, someone – presumably the client – decided that any Tom, Dick or Harry can do demolition; particularly if they’re cheaper or more convenient than an actual demolition company.

There is no question that Axis Build were negligent, that their actions could have caused injury, and that their prosecution was fully justified.
Yet, once again, the person that created the situation in which this incident occurred goes unnamed and unprosecuted…possibly to repeat the exercise again in the future.

Video – NOT the World Demolition Awards…

Upset that you didn’t get an invite to Amsterdam? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Later this evening, the great, the good and certain other elements of the demolition world will gather at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam for the annual bun-fight that is the World Demolition Awards.

Up for grabs this year are the “they’re a big advertiser, we’ve got to give them something” award, the “give them a highly commended, they’ve flown all the way from America” award, and the “for God’s sake don’t upset the national associations” award. Of course, they’re not actually called that but hey, we can read between the lines, right?

And so, we decided to “host” our own awards. And, so as not to confuse anyone, we have called them the NOT the World Demolition Awards. Enjoy:

The world’s gone batty…

Conversation be damned; winged rats delay demolition.

The demolition of Holy Trinity Church Hall in Motherwell has been delayed due to fears there could be roosting bats in the building.

The church hasn’t used the hall for six or seven years due to it falling into a state of disrepair that would cost too much to be fixed.

The land has been sold to a developer to build flats with the money being used to safeguard the future of Holy Trinity.

Demolition work was due to start this week, but local residents hope there will be a reprieve for the building after reports of bat sightings.

One resident said: “A few of us have seen bats coming and going. They are protected, and for every one that is harmed or killed, there will be a £5,000 fine.

“There has to be an ecological report carried out before any demolition work can go ahead.

Read more here.

Demolition dreams…

Financial Times correspondents nominate buildings they’d like demolished.

Come the glorious day when I am made God of Everything, my first job will be to order the demolition of Stamford Bridge, all tax offices, and the local Indian takeaway that once gave me Delhi Belly so bad that I was willing (happy, even) to choose death rather than another hour in the toilet.

Which is probably why I never made it as a correspondent for the Financial Times.

When asked to come up with a list of the buildings they’d most like to see demolished, they set aside personal vendettas and concentrated more upon the aesthetic appeal (or lack thereof) of some of the world’s most famous (infamous) structures.

Among those earmarked for the wrecking ball when the pink pages take over the world are the Walkie Talkie building in London, the replica of the Temple of Solomon in Sao Paulo, France’s Centre Georges Pompidou, and Manchester’s monument to capitalism, the Trafford Centre.

Check out the full list here.

And please, let us know which buildings you’d like to see demolished.

Dover eyesore’s fate sealed…

Residents rejoice as demolition gets the green light.

The demolition of the hated Dover eyesore Burlington House is expected begin in spring next year.

At a Dover Town Investment Zone (DTIZ) meeting at the district council offices on Tuesday, regeneration supremo Tim Ingleton updated councillors and the public.

He hoped the long-awaited approval of a compulsory purchase order (CPO) would be before Christmas.

Asked how soon Burlington House would be demolished, he said: “We are looking at the spring for that position to be reached or sooner if we get the arrival of the CPO.

“We hope that we get the CPO before Christmas. That would be a great Christmas present.”

“The demolition is looking at about four to four and a half months of activity.”

Things that go bump in the night…

Indian workers refuse to demolish “haunted” hospital.

Scared workers in India say they will not go back to work because their building site is haunted.

The men downed tools at the city hospital in Kolkata, a city in eastern India, and walked out after hospital bosses said they wanted them to demolish one of the old buildings and build a new modern one.

Worker Ram Lal told local media: “We do not want to demolish the building because ghosts live there.

“We have often seen images wafting in and out of the place at night.

“We cannot fight ghosts so we should not and will not demolish the building.”

A hospital spokesman said: “We do not believe such strange stories in this day and age.

“If these men won’t do the work, then machines will and we’ll hire another firm with bulldozers to do the job.”

Competition Corner – Goodie bag up for grabs…

Win yourself a bunch of demolition-related goodies without answering a single question.

IMG_6764.JPGWe have just despatched the Rammer Safety Kit to the lucky winner of our last competition; and so it is time to launch our next one. One lucky winner has the chance to win a goodie bag containing:

  • JCB branded beach towel
  • Rammer branded credit card-style USB thumb drive
  • Excavator bucket mug
  • Caterpillar baseball cap
  • Caterpillar high vis’ vest
  • Caterpillar hammer keyring

For your chance to win, you don’t even need to answer a question.   Just click this link and hit the Like button on the Facebook of our friends over at Diggers and Dozers.

We will choose one winner at random from all the entries. The competition closes on Friday 14 November 2014. So get clicking, and good luck.

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