15-storey Sheffield tower block demolished

Demolition of Chantreys Tower Block, Jordanthorpe
Demolition of Chantreys Tower Block, Jordanthorpe
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ANOTHER one bites the dust...

It took just a few seconds and 25 kilogrammes of explosives to obliterate one of Sheffield’s last remaining 1960s tower blocks.

Hundreds huddled under umbrellas in the pouring rain to watch the demise of the 15-storey Chantrey tower in Jordanthorpe, last used as sheltered housing for pensioners.

It was the final tower block outside the city centre still standing - until 11am yesterday morning when it was toppled from the skyline.

Steve Mettam, senior structural engineer for building standards at Sheffield Council, said: “We had a team of 50 people there to carry out the job, including 30 from contractor Demex.

“Everything went according to plan. We used 25 kilogrammes of explosives split into 300 separate charges. The building mostly collapsed within its site although there was a small amount of debris in the car park of White Willows sheltered housing complex nextdoor.

“It was quite a complex task to ensure there was no damage to surrounding buildings because White Willows is only six metres from Chantry Tower. We put up protection to shield the building.”

“The rain helped because it kept the dust down.”

The council has not decided what to do with the site long term.

Chantrey Tower was the last of three blocks which once stood at Jordanthorpe. They were built in 1967 and the others were demolished in 2001.

Residents were evacuated from 109 neighbouring homes, White Willows and Hazelhurst Extra Care retirement complex as a precaution.

Jordanthorpe residents said they had lost a landmark but were not sorry to see the tower go.

Robert Sell, aged 55, said: “I’ve lived here since 1985 and saw them take down the other towers 10 years ago. They would have been quite nice when they were built but had become an eyesore.”

Cyril Edwards, aged 72, added: “When you saw the tower from the bus you knew you were close to home but it would have needed a lot of work on it to bring it up to modern standards.”

While Marie Lyons, 22, whose grandfather Cliff Fawcett was one of the last residents at Chantrey Tower, said: “He lived on the 14th floor and I remember the rooms being quite nice. But he lives at White Willows now and doesn’t miss his old flat.

“The tower is a local landmark, though, and I’ll get lost without it.”

Her friend, Shadi Samavat, also 22, said: “I am not sad to see the tower block go because it made the area look like the estate off Shameless.”

Not all the onlookers were local, however.

Andi Walshaw travelled from the city centre with wife, Aimee, to photograph the event.

He said: “It’s another part of the city’s landscape that’s changing.”

n RESIDENTS of the old Chantrey Tower reminisced about their times in the block during a get-together held at White Willows nextdoor.

They also ‘demolished’ a giant cake made in the shape of the tower.

The former tower block residents talked about their memories for a film which was made by South Yorkshire Housing Association staff.