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  Demolishing a chimney,
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Steeplejack Fred Dibnah set about the demolition of Park Mill chimney in Royton Oldham on Sunday 9th May, 2004.

The mill was built in 1913 and finally ceased spinning in 1962. All that was left of the original six storeys red Accrington brick building was the 30 metre chimney. The landmark held many memories for the local residents, some of which had spent the majority of their working life at the mill. Because of this George Wimpey the owner of the site had requested the expertise of Fred Dibnah to bring down the smokestack.

Earlier in the week Fred and his team of demolition experts had been busily preparing the chimney ready for spectacle on Sunday. Finally at 12:35 his wife Sheila set alight the massive pile of timbers at the base of the chimney and the demolition had started.

At 12:54 the hooter, the trademark of Fred's demolition, was sounded and the chimney started to fall. Seconds later it was all over and another landmark was gone forever. After final checks to ensure everything had gone to plan and a session of signing autographs, Fred retired to a local hostelry. Here he downed a few well earned pints with his team after another job well done!

Photos and text kindly submitted by John Haslam.


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