Watch the moment 300ft Saxon Pit chimneys are demolished
- Credit: Terry Hsrris
A few minutes earlier than scheduled, the first of two 300ft brickwork chimneys were brought crashing down in controlled explosions.
Klaxons had sounded ahead of the blast and a keen group of onlookers watched as a slice of Whittlesey’s past was confined to the history books.
On the day, and despite fears that high winds might force a postponement, the demolition went ahead smoothly.
An exclusion zone ensured 100 per cent safety as nitro-glycerine explosive charges were laid to bring the chimneys down.
A structural survey recommended that the chimneys could be demolished on safety grounds.
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Historic England says the Saxon pit has been serving brickworks for over 100 years “and the chimneys are iconic on the skyline, representing a long-standing industry in the area”.
It is expected that a photographic record of the chimneys prior to, during and following demolition will be made for future generations to consider.
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Saxon Pit is part of the historic network of former brickworks in Whittlesey; it was a major source of employment for over 100 years.
Unlikely many other heritage assets, the chimneys are not listed despite the best efforts of county council historians.
Whittlesey town council and other councillors are, however, more concerned about Saxon Pit’s more recent use for the dumping of waste.
Fenland Council leader and Whittlesey councillor Chris Boden has said there is still no sight of effective enforcement action being taken in respect of “what at face value appears to be an egregious and substantial breach of the existing site operator's licence with the EA”.
Councillors were invited to today’s demolition but some declined.