Site Records


SiteName: Rugby Radio Station

Rugby
Warwickshire
OS Grid Ref: ('C' Building) SP553747

LATEST: Exclusive video footage of the demolition is now available 30/6/04.

  • Footage of the demolition DOWNLOAD (Warning LARGE 1 Mb Windows Media Format file!). © Steve Pell 2004.
  • Daylight footage of the 'aftermath' DOWNLOAD (Warning LARGE 7 Mb Windows Media Format file!). © Steve Pell 2004.
[Source: Steve Pell]

Eight of the twelve 820' masts at Rugby were due to be demolished by DSM Demolition contractors during the evening of of 19th June 2004. The Police had insisted that the demolition should take place in the dark and without prior publicity in order to avoid having to close the M1. As it was, they still had to close the A5 and A428 immediately prior to the demolition taking place.

The method of demolition was to simply cut one set of the four support guy ropes for each mast. The tension on the other three support ropes then pulled the mast in the desired direction. Demolition charges were applied to each of the three stay ropes at their base, the metal bracket joining the ropes to the concrete stay block having been pre-weakened. The 'shaped' cutting charges were linked together to fire simultaneously for each individual mast.

Plan copyright DSM Demolition & BT

The eight masts were due to be demolished in two phases. The first phase of the three most northerly masts went down at about 21.45 with two seconds between each mast. It was a text-book demolition with all three masts falling 'clean' and in exactly the right place.

The second phase of the five southerly masts was due to take place two minutes after the first phase, this being the time taken for the demolition engineer to move from one firing point to the other. The count-down began and we all expected a similar result to the first phase. Alas, it was not to be. Nothing happened. Half an hour later they had reconnected the command lines and tried again. The fourth mast went down but none of the others.

Half an hour later they tried again. The fifth mast went down but not the final three! An inspection of the command lines revealed that each had been 'nibbled' by rabbits! It seems that bunnies are partial to detonation cord. Despite the cord having been laid down a maximum of eight hours before, all the southern command lines had been severed!

Photo copyright BT

At about 01.00 on Sunday morning, new detonation cord having been applied to each charge, they finally pressed the button and the final three masts fell, slowly and imperceptibly at first, then with increasing speed, hitting the ground in a shower of sparks as the rivets sheared away. The sound of the demolition was distinctive with the bang of the cutting charges followed by a distinct "crinkling" noise from failing rivets and a final thunderous roar as the 250m masts folded into the ground. Despite the unexpected delay, the masts fell in the right places and as a demolition exercise it has been a great success.

Photo:One of the masts lying on the ground the following morning
Photo copyright BT

With only four masts remaining the Rugby skyline all looks very different.

LATEST: Exclusive video footage of the demolition is now available 30/6/04.

  • Footage of the demolition DOWNLOAD (Warning LARGE 1 Mb Windows Media Format file!). © Steve Pell 2004.
  • Daylight footage of the 'aftermath' DOWNLOAD (Warning LARGE 7 Mb Windows Media Format file!). © Steve Pell 2004.

[Source: Steve Pell]

For further photographs of the demolition and the following day click here

All photographs and the plan are reproduced under licence from BT and should not be reproduced in other publications or on other web sites without written permission from BT


Home Page
Last updated: 04 01 2011
©1998- 2016 Subterranea Britannica