Jamie set to push the button

Youngster Jamie Brown will press the button to flatten the Steetley Chimney after his grandad Dave Fricker won the demolition raffle. Jamie pictured with Peter Hall from demolition contractor Sirius, who is in charge of the blast.
Youngster Jamie Brown will press the button to flatten the Steetley Chimney after his grandad Dave Fricker won the demolition raffle. Jamie pictured with Peter Hall from demolition contractor Sirius, who is in charge of the blast.

BEAMING Jamie Brown has been given the honour of blowing up a landmark chimney thanks to his generous granddad.

The eight-year-old will push the button to demolish the 230ft Steetley chimney, at the former chemical works site in Old Cemetery Road, tomorrow.

The prize of starting the demolition of the chimney was raffled in aid of Hartlepool & District Hospice and the RNLI, with more than £6,000 being raised.

His granddad Dave Fricker actually bought the ticket, but he gave the prize to Jamie, to the envy of his pals.

Jamie, a pupil at Kingsley Primary School, in Taybrooke Avenue, Hartlepool, said: “I am really excited about pushing the button.

“My friends were all really jealous when I told them what I was going to be doing.

“I can’t wait until Sunday,” added Jamie, who lives in the Oxford Road area of town with mum Claire Brown, 29 and Michael Brown, 26.

The chimney is being demolished as part of ongoing work to clear the site.

Granddad Dave, 47, a contract worker, said: “I was more than happy to donate the prize.

“I am originally from Birkenhead, but have lived in town for about 25 years, whereas Jamie is a born and bred Poolie.

“It is a great event for him to be part of.”

Dave, also from the Oxford Road area, said he did not actually realise what the tickets were for originally.

He added: “I just knew it was for the hospice and RNLI so it was a pretty big shock when I got the phone call.

“It is a great prize, really unique.”

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Jamie.

“He will be the envy of people across the town and I am sure this will be something he will remember for the rest of his life.”

Greg Hildreth, events and community facilitator at the hospice, said: “We would like to thank them and everybody else for buying tickets and supporting this fundraiser.”

Organisers have previously said people do not necessarily need to head close to the site to see the demolition as the chimney is visible for miles.

But those who do want a closer view will be able to watch the drama unfold in Old Cemetery Road as a large part will be open.

There will be a large exclusion zone in place around the base of the chimney, which will fall flat towards the sea when it is blown up.

The controversial site, plagued by arsonists and trespassers in recent years, is being cleared five years after the Hartlepool Mail launched a campaign to get the area made safe.

l The Hartlepool Mail will be bringing you full coverage of the Steetley Chimney Blast.

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