10 years on: The dramatic demolition of Campbell's Soup tower in pictures

The demolition of Campbell's Soup tower, King's Lynn in 2012. 

The moment where a controlled explosion demolished Campbell's Soup tower at King's Lynn in 2012. - Credit: Archant Library

After dominating the King's Lynn skyline for more than half a century, the Campbell's Soup tower tumbled and reduced to rubble in mere seconds. 

At 8am on January 15, 2012 an estimated 3,000 people surrounded the landmark to watch a controlled explosion to demolish the iconic red and white tower.

The silhouette of Campbell's Soup tower in King's Lynn, which was demolished January 15, 2012. 

The silhouette of Campbell's Soup tower in King's Lynn, which was demolished January 15, 2012. - Credit: Archant Library

The Campbells tower in King's Lynn, before it was demolished on January 15, 2012.

The Campbells tower in King's Lynn, before it was demolished on January 15, 2012. - Credit: Archant Library

It once housed a pressure cooker that made Campbell’s condensed soup, which you might know from Andy Warhol’s legendary artwork Campbell's Soup Cans in the 1960s.

Controversial American artist Andy Warhol, best known for his giant Campbell's soup pictures

Controversial American artist Andy Warhol, best known for his giant Campbell's soup pictures, at the Arts Council Shop in London when he was signing copies of his new book "Andy Warhol's Exposures." - Credit: PA

Screen prints by Andy Warhol, including a portfolio of ten Campbell's Soup are hung at the Dulwich Picture Gallery

Screen prints by Andy Warhol, including a portfolio of ten Campbell's Soup are hung at the Dulwich Picture Gallery ahead of a major new exhibition of the US artist's work. - Credit: PA

Opened in 1959, the  Campbell's soup factory in King's Lynn was the first UK base for the American company, employing hundreds of local workers until 2007 when it closed.

In 2010, Liz James, a member of King’s Lynn Civic Society, applied to have the tower listed. 

English Heritage rejected the bid and stated the structure had no “special architectural or historic interest."

The Campbells tower in King's Lynn, which was due to be demolished on January 15, 2012.

The Campbells tower in King's Lynn, which was due to be demolished on January 15, 2012. - Credit: Archant Library

Fast forward to the demolition in 2012 and after winning a competition to push the detonator, Sarah Griffiths closed a chapter in King's Lynn's food manufacturing history - but also found closure for herself and her family.

Sarah Griffiths who pressed the button to signal the demolition of Campbell's tower, King's Lynn.

Sarah Griffiths who pressed the button to signal the demolition of Campbell's tower, King's Lynn. Date: 2012 - Credit: Archant Library

Sarah Griffiths who pressed the button to signal the demolition of Campbell's tower, King's Lynn.

TV camera crews interviewed Sarah Griffiths who pressed the button to signal the demolition of Campbell's tower, King's Lynn in 2012. - Credit: Archant Library

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Her father Mick Locke was fatally scalded by a blast of steam at the factory in 1995.

“It was an emotional release, especially the thud on the ground which was like a finale," she said. 

The Campbell's Soup tower in King's Lynn came tumbling down in 2012. 

The Campbell's Soup tower in King's Lynn came tumbling down in 2012. - Credit: Archant Library

The demolition of Campbell's tower, King's Lynn in 2012.

The demolition of Campbell's tower, King's Lynn in 2012. - Credit: Archant Library

Only rubble remained after the demolition of Campbell's Soup tower, King's Lynn in 2012.

Only rubble remained after the demolition of Campbell's Soup tower, King's Lynn in 2012. - Credit: Archant Library

The site, off Hardwick Road, is now home to Tesco Extra and Dobbies Garden Centre. 

Banner being unveiled on the Campbell's Tower in King's Lynn with abseilers.

Photos of a banner being unveiled on the Campbell's Soup Tower in King's Lynn. Abseilers worked on the banner, to announce the new plans by Tescos. Date: 2009. - Credit: Archant Library

The new Tesco Extra and Dobbies stores on the former Campbell's site in King's Lynn in 2013

The new Tesco Extra and Dobbies stores on the former Campbell's site in King's Lynn. Date: 2013. - Credit: Archant Library

For more old photos and articles about Norfolk history and heritage, subscribe to our fortnightly Through the Decades email newsletter. Sign up by clicking here



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