Saturday 18 November 2017

Raffle winner has a chimney blast

Hartlepool mayor Stuart Drummond said the raffle was 'an innovative and unique way of raising funds for two very good causes'
Hartlepool mayor Stuart Drummond said the raffle was 'an innovative and unique way of raising funds for two very good causes'

A landmark was blown up by a man who won the chance to push the plunger in a raffle.

The 230ft Steetley Chimney in Hartlepool, County Durham, could be seen for miles and formed part of the skyline, but was flattened to clear the former chemical works for redevelopment.

Approximately 6,000 raffle tickets were sold for £1 each on behalf of local charities Hartlepool RNLI and Hartlepool & District Hospice.

Dave Fricker, 47, who lives in the town, won the draw and activated the demolition.

Hartlepool mayor Stuart Drummond, who nominated the charities, said: "The Steetley Chimney is one of the best-known landmarks in town and it will be quite a spectacle when it comes down. This is an innovative and unique way of raising funds for two very good causes dear to the hearts of people in Hartlepool."

Malcolm Wallis, of Hartlepool lifeboat station, said the RNLI was amazed at the popularity of the fundraising idea. "It's really taken off in the last couple of weeks," he said. "It's something that's gripped the town."

The Steetley Chimney, built in the early 1960s, was part of the magnesite works which produced chemicals needed for making metal.

The coastal site became hugely productive by the mid-20th century, churning out more than 5,000 tons of magnesium a week in the late 1960s as demand for metals soared.

It closed several years ago after unsuccessful buy-outs and has been partly demolished.

The land is owned by Starford Holdings and planning permission has been granted for a £100 million housing development of 484 sea-view homes.

Press Association

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