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Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd.
Demolition 1987

Two additional pictures that came to us in 2018.....
the factory (right) almost gone
The factory adjoined the offices (left)
The building disappearing....

Date. 14th December 1987. Time. 12-45pm.


Place. Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd. Boot Works Portland Road Rushden.

Subject. Demolition of Tower holding header tank for overhead sprinkler system.

THREE attempts were made to demolish the tower but each time the steel cable
attached to the tower broke under the strain.

The 4th attempt was successful.

Reported in the Evening Telegraph:

Era ends for town landmark
RUSHDEN landmark has been demolished — the last move to make way for a flats development.

An ET reader was on hand to see the Co-op Footwear factory tower pulled over and took these pictures.

The man, who does not want to be named, remembers the factory fondly as he worked there for 24 years. He explained: "I was in the fire brigade there. The tower had a huge tank on top of it which fed the sprinkler system for the factory."

The tower had a few surprises in store for the demolition men before its end. It took three attempts to pull it down as the cable used kept breaking.

Note: Although the original ET report said the photographer did not want to be named, when we began the Hearts & Soles project Peter Danby came foreward with lots of information about the CWS Fire Brigade at the factory. He was one of the last firemen there and as the place was being cleared he rescued several items which he has recently donated to Rushden Museum, along with some of his uniform.

All the papers he rescued have been copied for our project and are now also donated to the Museum and some, along with most of the artefacts are currently on display - 2008 season.
Peter also agreed to be interviewed about his work with the Fire Brigade, for the 'Hearts & Soles' project.
Here is the full collection of pictures that record the demolition of this factory.


The factory on the corner of Rectory Road & Portland Road
The tower can be seen (top centre) From Fitwilliam Street


The tower that caused so much trouble !

Going, Going, Going, Going, Gone!!




The huge piles of bricks were crushed and removed from the site.





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