Going, going... Demolition crews get set to knock down Grimsby high-rises

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 20 Apr 2018

THE biggest demolition job in Grimsby’s recent history gets under way on Tuesday when three iconic tower blocks vanish from the town’s skyline.

A £2 million piece of machinery arrives on Monday to be attached to an arm with a reach of 62 metres.

It will break down the 16-storey high rises and work has already started stripping the inside of the flats on Nelson House.

Demolition men working for DSM Demolition Ltd of Birmingham gave members of the public an insight into the colossal task over the next three weeks.

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

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

An exhibition held at Open Door on Albion Street was staged jointly by DSM bosses and Lincolnshire Housing Partnership, which is a merger between Shoreline and a Boston housing partnership.

From left, Greg Lawman, Rachel Munoz and Tim Coppin at the public exhibition  at Open Door, Albion Street, Grimsby.

DSM operations manager Tim Coppin said the Hitachi EX 1200 arrives on Monday to begin the demolition in earnest.

“It is a run-of-the-mill job for us. We are looking forward to getting started,” he said.

The firm recently tore down the Arena Centre in Birmingham.

The manager was proud that 98 per cent of the materials torn down will be recycled. Only a small amount will be held back to cap the top of the site.

Site supervisor Greg Lawman said some of the construction projects under way in the region will benefit from the recyclable materials from the tower blocks.

“It can be used for road works or new buildings. We call it 6F2 and it will go into local projects because there is not much in the way of recyclable materials in this area,” he said.

Work is already under way stripping out inside Nelson House.

He added his firm had not been approached by any residents concerned about the impact dust from the site will have. “It hasn’t been mentioned,” he said.

Collectors, many of them former residents have already kept the mementos they wanted from the high rises. Signs from stairways and around the blocks have been passed on to former residents as keepsakes.

The large wooden wheel in the communal room in Nelson House was donated to the Royal Naval Club.

Visitors to the exhibition at Open Door were shown how the podiums in between the tower blocks will be removed to allow the machinery access to the high rises.

LHP head of assett review project manager, Rachael Munoz, said: “We are very proud of our achievements and look forward to seeing a positive future for the area.

“It was a controversial decision but it is about looking into the future and the area needs that regeneration.”

Suffolk Court resident, Ben More, 30, said he hoped the site could become home to Grimsby Town FC and urged the demolition firm to save one of the towers for posterity.

“It could also be used by the fire service for practising their drills on tackling fires in high rise blocks, as we saw in the Grenfell Tower disaster,” he said.

Debbie Rollason, who used to live in the flats, and, left, Nelson House.

A former Tennyson House resident who lived in the block for over 16 years said: “If I could, I would go back tomorrow. I was on the fourth floor and my daughter had a first floor flat and other daughter was on the 13th floor. We were all one big family in there.

“I remember getting up 5.30am every morning and going downstairs to open the gates so I could fetch my newspaper. Everyday I would be on the balcony waving to people. 

“You could always keep your windows open night or day because there was never any fear of anyone creeping in.”

Debbie Rollason said: “It was one big community. You never see any of them now. But when we lived there you were always bumping into people on the stairway and on the landings. But everyone has been stretched far and wide.”

She added: “But I am pleased I have now got a garden where I am in Albert Close.”



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