Sunday, 15 January 2012

Farewell to the Campbell's Tower

The famous Campbell’s Soup tower, which has been one of the best-known landmarks in King’s Lynn for decades, was blown up today. Thousands of people from West Norfolk and beyond woke up early, wrapped up warm and braved the cold weather to watch the demolition at 8am.

It was a fightfully cold morning and I was really surprised to see that so many people had come out to see the demolition of the tower. For many, it was a rare opportunity to watch a building fall and for others, the event gave them the chance to say goodbye to their favourite landmark in King's Lynn which had been there for as long as they cared to remember.

For me, it was a truly historic event in the town that I will remember forever which also gave me a great opportunity to try out my ever-improving video skills (see below) Listen out for "It's falling the wrong way" & watch the camera shake after the explosion - that was me jumping like a sissy!

Sarah Griffiths, whose father was scalded to death at the soup factory, was selected to detonate the tower after winning a competition. She said the event was a chance for closure after her father Mick Locke was killed at the site in 1995.

The tower and the former factory are being demolished to make way for a business complex, including a new Tesco Extra store. The demolition comes after the King’s Lynn civic society tried to get the tower listed in 2010 but English Heritage said the tower had no “special architectural or historic interest” and rejected the group’s application.

Tesco’s plan for the site was approved by West Norfolk Council in November 2010 and it is thought the £40m Campbell’s Meadow project could bring up to 1,000 jobs to the area. East Anglian firm RG Carter, which originally built the factory on the 63-acre site in 1959, has been carrying out the demolition work on behalf of Tesco.

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