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« Pointless and stupid petty 'risk assessment' | Main | Boats 7th out of 7 in new Runcorn plans »

Thursday, 23 March 2006


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Richard L

Local Rag (Express + Star) ran story recently that Coal Chutes due for demolition on 05/06/06. Cycled past today at 1200Hrs - no sign of work beginning. No plant or machinery visible. Story in tonights E + S - work has begun !

It is tragic that this structure is to be lost, however it is my humble opinion that relatively early examples of Reinforced Concrete such as this are almost impossible to save. The problem is that the thickness of concrete covering the reinforcement was very often insufficient. This over time has allowed water to penetrate and corrode the steel; when this happens the resulting expansion causes more of the covering concrete to spall off. It is a vicious circle almost impossible to arrest. Indeed several far more important structures have been lost in the UK, Europe and the US for the same reason - some whilst still in use !

I shall contact the E + S to point out their error.

I shall continue to visit the location as often as I am able and will post again if there are further developments.

Has anyone else seen the Kingfishers there ?

Richard L


I am sympathetic to your views on this matter Andrew.

In 1993, Paul Reas made a series of photographs on the 'Heritage Industry', they were published by Cornerhouse Books, under the title "Flogging a Dead Horse: Heritage Culture and Its Role in Post-industrial Britain", with text by Stuart Cosgrove and Val Williams. (see bottom of first page)

The following is from a page on (link below) sadly I have not yet been able to find any of the images on the web.

"... Flogging a Dead Horse. 'The title (a regional expression meaning: to try and sell something which has no use: an effort in vain), is a critical view of the Heritage industry. As one of the most marked cultural tendencies of the late eighties and early nineties the emergence of 'the past', as a focus of popular leisure-time consumption, is a major issue in Britain today. A whole diversified industry has arisen to process and market whatever promising bits of raw past suggest themselves for development. As the pace to portrait the past quickens and the industry's growth rate increases, so 'war history, in its museum cases and roped off areas, becomes less adequate at satisfying the appetite of a generation reared on perceptions of reality cut up by television into easily digestible chunks. The tourist of the nineties, with camcorder and auto-focus camera, expects a 'hands-on' experience. But the trouble with Heritage Culture is that the safe inconsequential history it markets doesn't educate, it only sedates its audience. Heritage is meretricious history that never challenges the present. Consumerist history: history for a disposable income. Like a steam train, it takes you on a pleasant ride to nowhere, and then back to where you started.

Documentary Dilemmas Aspects of British Documentary Photography 1983-1993 , The British Council, London 1994"

Thought you might be interested.



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