Disappointing start for Steetley blast tickets

Not long for this world: the Steetley Blast Chimney has a date with demolition.
Not long for this world: the Steetley Blast Chimney has a date with demolition.

ORGANISERS behind an innovative fundraising drive to flatten the Steetley chimney have urged people to get involved after a disappointing first weekend of sales.

The prize of pushing the button to demolish the landmark chimney as part of ongoing work to clear the former chemical works site is being raffled in aid of Hartlepool & District Hospice and Hartlepool RNLI.

But so far, less than 300 tickets have been sold.

The tickets went on sale over the weekend with representatives from both charities selling them outside Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience, as part of the Diamond Festival celebrations.

Organisers say they were disappointed with the sales.

Malcolm Wallis, of Hartlepool RNLI, said: “It was very disappointing to have sold so few over the weekend as we expected to sell a lot more than that.

“The bad weather played its part and sadly there wasn’t the number of people expected.

“But we will carry on and I would encourage people to buy a raffle ticket.

“It is a wonderful prize, a lifetime opportunity to blow up an iconic landmark.

“This is going to be a unique event.”

Mr Wallis added: “The RNLI rely on voluntary contributions and all the money we receive from the raffle will go to train our volunteer crew members to help save lives at sea.”

Steetley Chimney Blast tickets cost £1 and the structure is scheduled to be demolished on Sunday, July 29.

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.

Mayor Stuart Drummond nominated the charities and will draw the winning ticket on Wednesday, July 18.

The winning ticket holder gets to press the button and also wins an iPad.

Second prize is a sea fishing trip for four adults and six children and third prize is a luxury weekend break for two.

Fourth prize is £100 Marks & Spencer voucher.

Plus there are plenty of other prizes available.

Sirius North East has been contracted to clear the Steetley site by the land’s owners, Starford Holdings and the work is well under way at the Old Cemetery Road location.

The operation will see the remains of existing hazardous structures demolished, debris cleared and the land levelled off ready for its future use.

The owners have planning permission for a £100m housing development of 484 seaview homes.

Raffle tickets are now available from the hospice reception, in Wells Avenue, and will be in hospice shops throughout town this week.

Any business interested in selling raffle tickets should call the hospice on (01429) 855529.

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