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Dr Pit Chimneys demolition 10th August 1952. Telephone row, Cross Row and brickyard in background.jpg


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Doctor Pit and Rows

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Photo Information for Dr Pit Chimneys demolition 10th August 1952. Telephone row, Cross Row and brickyard in background.jpg


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This one brings back a lot of memories of my childhood! If you zoom in,you will notice people all aroond. Thi pic on thi left shows a lot of light-coloured stuff lying on thi ground at the base of the chimney. For those who might not knaa owt aboot felling this chimney,aal explain hoo they did it.

The light-coloured stuff in the left pic is piles of old lime mortar,and broken bricks taken from the base of the chimney,as the demolition men carved a huge hole out of the base,and supported the area where bricks were removed with Telegraph Pole-sized wood props,just as we would support the roof underground. The men created an absoloute cavern,in the side of the chimney,and calculated exactly where to remove the brickwork.

Once they had removed a considerable and sufficient amount of brickwork,and had a whole whack of huge props supporting the chimney,they poured either Deisel,or Petrol,all over the props.

On the day of demolition,they cleared the immediate area of personell,and the public,then they set fire to the props that supported the chimney.

It didn't take long,and as soon as enough wood had burned away,the weight of the now insufficient support of the chimney,made it lean exactly in the intended direction,then,in a suspense-filled few minutes,she crashed down..exactly on time,and neatly between the Pit buildings and the Rail Line...NO EXPLOSIVES!!..that's why people are standing all around so close to watch!

The smoke at the base is from the burning wood props. If I hadn't witnessed the men taking out the brickwork,as a kid,and asked what they were doing,[to other Mineworkers standing there also,] I would have found it hard to believe such a basic primitive method was used to bring down a tall chimney like this one,I think it was 180 feet high,but stand to be corrected on that one. But I have a vivid memory of the days when all this happened,standing watching the men creating this huge hole,and propping it up...seems incredible when they could have gotten Fred Dibnah up ti sort it oot in his fashion!!..cud he hae done it any mair precise?! I hope I have enlightened at least one person,and hopefully more!

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Never realised that they dropped the chimney in the way you described.

I’ve attached a 3rd photograph that shows how it looked when it was down.

Dr pit chimney.jpg

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