This was the moment Campbell’s tower in King’s Lynn was reduced to rubble after dominating the skyline for more than 50 years.

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An estimated 3,000 people gathered to watch a controlled explosion of the iconic landmark, which has been demolished to make way for a new Tesco superstore.

There was applause, cheers and even screams when the ground shuddered and the tower collapsed with a thundering boom at 8am this morning (Sunday).

Demolition day couldn’t have come sooner for competition winner Sarah Griffiths, whose father died following a horrific accident at the factory 16 years ago.

Mick Locke, 52, was fatally scalded by a blast of steam in 1995 and the mum-of-two, from Clenchwarton, had mixed feelings as she pressed the detonator.

“It was an emotional release, especially the thud on the ground, it was like a finale,” she said. “I will feel better not having to see it all the time and so will all my family - it’s still very raw.

“We are having a celebration meal later and I’m going to go and have a chat with my dad down at the cemetery.”

Lynn civic society tried to get the tower listed in 2010, but English Heritage said the structure had no “special architectural or historic interest” and rejected the application.

Tesco’s plans for the site were approved by West Norfolk Council in November 2010 and it is thought the £40m Campbell’s Meadow project could bring up to 1,000 jobs to the area.

East Anglian firm RG Carter, which originally built the factory on the 63-acre site in 1959, has been carrying out the demolition work on behalf of Tesco.

The red and white tower once housed a pressure cooker used to make Campbell’s condensed soup, made famous by Andy Warhol in the 1960s.

It was the Campbell’s first UK base when it opened in the 1950s, employing hundreds of local workers. At its peak in the early 1990s, it had more than 700 workers.

See tomorrow’s EDP for full coverage of the historic event.

22 comments

  • John - good idea, would save a fortune in benefits payments!

    Report this comment

    merrydancer

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • And Campbells was providing jobs for all those years by being a market for local produce which they used to make something to sell in the UK and to export. What will the replacements be doing? Service industry pushing money around in the form of hotels vulnerable to recession? Car showrooms for imported cars? A Tesco extra selling non grocery products imported from who knows where? How will that help balance trade? Never mind Yorky- you will have to use East Winch church tower as a reminder that you are well into Norfolk.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • j l norton what an ignorant person you are with your remarks . get a life mate kings lynn is a great town with a rich history i suggest you keep your bigoted vile remarks to yourself muppet

    Report this comment

    prontoman591

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • campbells tower was after my time but i can reflect to chebram71 story of the sugar beet factory, my father was manager during the war and if i had been good he would take me down to the factory on the weekend so that i could fish in the reservoir, but now to come 'ome again all that's left is a puddle at the rounderbout on the road to saddlebow and wiggenhall, hell, lynn was such an historic town but they also killed it in the 50's with their demolition of the centre...even lord vancouver home. who knows what's next to make way for the big $$$$$

    Report this comment

    hutch1

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • It is shameful that the tower was not deemed suitable to be listed, another historic landmark destroyed to make way for yet another Tesco's superstore. When will it end? Every empty building and open space seems to have a planning application on it for a Tesco Metro store superstore.... even on Royal Land... http:www.dailymail.co.uknewsarticle-2086239Royal-Family-planning-lease-land-Tesco-superstore.html

    Report this comment

    graze69

    Monday, January 16, 2012

  • LIke many thousands of regular visitors to Norfok and The Broads each year,the sight of the Campbell`s tower was a reminder that only another hour`s or so of travelling remained until our annual booting ,boating was about to begin once again canoing,caravanning, sailingand and general holidaying was about to begin. Tesco and their ilk will never be satisfied until the next store in sight when one needs foodstuffs is a Tesco store.The environement means nothing to them unless it`s measured out for building more stores on. The cooling towers at the side of the M1 near Sheffield and Rotherham suffered a similar fate when some feature could have been made of them.

    Report this comment

    Yorky

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • When I was younger the only thing I remember was the sugar processing plant, and the pong was like a dog letting off wind. Odd how we remember KL in different ways.

    Report this comment

    chebram71

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • Yorky, if NCC have their way..you'd still be able gauge distance....smoking chimney burning rubbish 24-7.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • Nothing and nobody stops Tesco.

    Report this comment

    Port Watcher

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • For someone who dont want to be reminded of the poxy tower she isnt doing to good, as i saw her being interviewed on Anglia News Sunday tea time, heard her being interviewed on Radio Norfolk this morning, got cheesed of with hearing her voice so turned over onto radio 2 and Jeremy Vine was interviewing her live on Radio 2!!! and this eve she was on look east and also on The One Show!!! and on the news scroll on Aol.com Thank goodness its Tuesday tommorow!!!!!!! Closure !!!! aahhhh

    Report this comment

    Colby Army!

    Monday, January 16, 2012

  • Should never been allowed,an Iconic landmark with the famous Campbells logo Lets have a nice Tesco sign instead

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    London in Norfolk

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • What a shame! While I sympathise with Sarah the Campbells tower was an iconic structure and a landmark on Kings Lynns skyline. I think it will be missed.

    Report this comment

    caroline jacobs

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • Sadly, I can't see the video!

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • the thing is, that tower could have remained and been some sort of viewing platformcaferestaurantbusiness startup zone etc, ie something to actually make people want to visit KL and make it a nicer area to live. instead we get another massive tesco, how is that going to enrich peoples lives and make KL a "destination" place? KL is less than 2 hours away from london, less than 1 hr from cambridge, much better transport links that norwich, with a little bit of money and some vision, the tower could have been something to improve the town (look at all the money spent on the town centre and all the effort in keeping 'ye olde' KL - customs house etc) instead, we get the increasing "americanisation" of a town, and a giant company makes more money. well done everyone involved. and we wonder why the UK is so London-centric? and KL has no jobs or money

    Report this comment

    ds99

    Monday, January 16, 2012

  • Just turned on again Chebram and it's there! Haven't had to do anything at all. Thanks again.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • j l norton what an ignorant person you are with your remarks . get a life mate kings lynn is a great town with a rich history i suggest you keep your bigoted vile remarks to yourself muppet

    Report this comment

    prontoman591

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • thanks Tesco and P remier Foods, gone is the iconic tower and the source of local employment and what do we get? another damn superstore , well that will be great ofr your pockets not our town

    Report this comment

    jaroldcanary

    Monday, January 16, 2012

  • A large wind turbine could be erected in place of the Campbells Tower to provide a landmark on the horizon.This would provide some more jobs and profits for overseas manufacturers.In 50 years or so it may even offset the carbon contribution to the atmosphere made by it`s manufacture.

    Report this comment

    Yorky

    Monday, January 16, 2012

  • samphirelover, you probably need to install flash player or you have some sort of script blocking software. If you do not have Adobe Flash Player installed you can download it free from www.adobe.com

    Report this comment

    chebram71

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • Whenever a commercial enterprize wishes to justify it`s actions, the phrase "x number of jobs will be created" crops up.If an alternate way of operating by employing new machinery or method of working were to arise at some later date,such as using overseas call centres, there would be no hesitation in "losing" some employees.To these corporate people, jobs are are necessary evil. They pretend they are creating jobs as a favour.

    Report this comment

    Yorky

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • LOL on of the video clips you can clearly hear someone saying Holy Crap LOL

    Report this comment

    chebram71

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • thanks Tesco and P remier Foods, gone is the iconic tower and the source of local employment and what do we get? another damn superstore , well that will be great ofr your pockets not our town

    Report this comment

    jaroldcanary

    Monday, January 16, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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