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Darlaston chimney was gone in a puff of smoke

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: January 13, 2014

  • Attaching the detonation cords

  • Drilling the boreholes

  • Cords dangle through the wall, ready to blow ...

  • In seconds, the old chimney is reduced to rubble

  • Major Waldron surveys a job well done

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IT MIGHT well be safer to bring down a tall structure one brick at a time, but it's certainly a lot more fun to blow it up.

Major Crom Waldron of Northfield, Birmingham, has fond memories and a few photographs of just such an occasion, when he oversaw the demolition of a tall stack in Darlaston, fifty years ago. Major Waldron writes:

"The five photographs enclosed show stages of the demolition of a chimney in Darlaston in 1963.

"The first shows the drilling of the boreholes in the base, ready to receive charges, while the second shows the detonating cord being connected to the charges.

"In the third picture you can see several of the cords in place in their holes, and in the fourth, you can see the result!

"The fifth picture is of myself checking things out after the demolition.

"The wall seen in the rear was an old pumping station, so you can see there was no room for any mistakes.

"As I have said already, this was in 1963, but I cannot remember exactly when in the year. That makes it fifty years ago, when I was just 40. If you do a simple sum you will probably get a surprise!

"I was working in Bilston in 1963, and on returning to work the next day, a Monday, I was greeted with:

"'Mornin' Gaffer! Yower chimbly day arf goo wi' a bang, day it? An' yer blowed our Aunty's winders aht!'"

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