Star date: 27th October 2013


Yesterday the Salford Quays cargo cranes were finally trashed, after a six month fight to preserve them. The demolition, costing "up to £100,000", signed off by Salford Mayor Ian Stewart, lasted 24 hours and was complete by first light this morning.

Here the Salford Star reports from the Docks with loads of photos of the final execution. Not for the squeamish.

Full details click here

Salford Quays Cranes The Final Night Salford Quays Cranes The Final Night Salford Quays Cranes The Final Night
Salford Quays Cranes Demolition Salford Quays Cranes Demolition Salford Quays Cranes Demolition
Salford Quays Cranes Demolition Salford Quays Cranes Demolition Salford Quays Cranes Demolition
Salford Quays Cranes Demolition Salford Quays Cranes Demolition Salford Quays Cranes Demolition
Salford Quays Cranes Demolition Salford Quays Cranes Demolition Salford Quays Cranes Demolition
Salford Quays Cranes Demolition Salford Quays Cranes Demolition Salford Quays Cranes Demolition
Salford Quays Cranes Demolition Salford Quays Cranes Demolition
click image to enlarge


It's 7pm on Saturday night at Salford Quays. The second iconic crane which stood proud over Ontario Basin has been decapitated, leaving just one headless blue pole waiting for the final execution of Salford's most visual landmark.

On the ground in front of the old Dock Offices, the crane's cabin and jib is being mangled by a massive mechanical cutter which looks like a cross between an iron vulture and a Transformer's worst nightmare. Its jaws have already snapped the giant criss-cross jib into a heap of twisted metal and now it's carefully picking through the pile, lifting the debris into a scrap wagon. Here's your heritage, son…

It's dark. It's raining. And the post-match Manchester United tourists, who had seen the earlier decimation as an amusing pre-match spectacle, have long since departed. There's just half a dozen people left, watching in a strange silence of revving engines and almost squealing steel.

Behind the gates of the demolition site a couple are standing arm in arm gazing blankly as the cutter goes in for the crane cabin's kill. The windows crack, and glass smashes onto the floor. A few moments later, a bloke passing by, too young to have seen the cranes working, has to be held back by his mate as he shouts at the demolition crew… "Oy, that's our heritage you're destroying…That's our Docks…you fuckers…"

With the crane cabin now mangled beyond recognition, the crew moves onto the last standing headless pole, that's still awkwardly jutting skywards on the Quays… "It will all be gone by the morning", says the foreman.

The culling of the Quays cargo cranes had begun 24 hours earlier. Like the riots two years before, it was one of those surreal Salford moments. But whereas the riots were kind of celebratory in the hands of their participants, here Salfordians were passive spectators in a very public exhibition of the past being trashed.

Overnight, gates had been erected, a giant crane had appeared, searchlights were everywhere and brand new yellow coats adorned the executioner stars of the "up to £100,000" demolition show.

As the morning light broke, a few photographers were already waiting for the `money shot' of the cranes coming down. It was a long wait, as a bright red capsule hoisted workmen up the side of one of the cranes to, first painstakingly attach chains to its top, and then burn the cabin from the pole with cutting torches.

At about 1:30pm the first cabin and jib was decapitated. There was an inner gasp from people who had lined the quayside. This really was the end.

A small, sky-filled gap appeared between the cabin and the pole as it was turned to face its still-intact partner. And then it was hoisted apart, suspended in mid-air, like the axeman showing the head of a rebel to the peasants below.

Once on the ground, the mechanical cutter immediately began snipping at the light blue jib, while the red capsule was already at the top of the remaining crane, preparing for the next execution.

As this heritage and cultural vandalism was happening, over at MediaCityUK and The Lowry there was a Quays Culture Open Day. How sick - in the old style of the word - is that?


*There's now a Salford Star YouTube Video of the crane cabin being smashed to pieces - click here

For full background see previous Salford Star articles

Cranes To Be Replaced With £150,000 Mobile Phone App – click here

Cranes Demolition Disgrace As £Millions Squandered – click here

Nigel Pivaro Says Save The Cranes – click here





Paul wrote
at 2:44:08 PM on Wednesday, October 30, 2013
@tom Nolan, it's not the position of mayor that is wrong, it's the person and party that hold the position of mayor that is wrong, the alternative was having someone like John merry in charge and he was only accountable to the people in his constituency in Broughton, at least at the next mayoral election you will get a vote to get rid of him, unlike the other way things were done before
philip hamer wrote
at 6:01:37 PM on Monday, October 28, 2013
So SO sad to see such Salford history yet again turn down, And at the very lest one could have and should have been saved.? this I would have most certainly should have been done,
Chaz wrote
at 8:44:48 AM on Monday, October 28, 2013
Amanda Bickerton...you are absolutely bang on dead right...it would be a fitting follow on from the despicable destruction of the cranes if people were to properly organise. Its SO SO much easier to have a WAY more representative democracy now that we are pretty much ALL hooked up...iPads...laptops...social media etc. We either throw off the shackles of these buffoons and forge a brand new City or we just carry on bitching and moaning to no avail. I would, for one, 100% support a Green kinda Socialist party that cherished ALL of the rich heritage and nature that surrounds us and be part of a push to make Salford some sort of green inspirational autonomously powered beacon for other Cities in Europe to follow. Its a massive massive ballache forming a new political party though, plus you've got to shake these Pop Idol absorbed fellow citizens of ours to get off their fat arses and break away from how they always traditionally voted. I dunno, maybe we kick off with some sort of Salford People Forum where ideas can be thrashed out?
Amanda Bickerton wrote
at 6:28:28 AM on Monday, October 28, 2013
I agree with Cath - there needs to be a coming together of people to form a Civic Society or something similar. I asked a question of the City Mayor on his Facebook page yesterday, regarding the destruction of the cranes. I asked him - if Ordsall Hall is worth saving, which represents the history of the wealthy and powerful, why are the cargo cranes, representing the history of working people, not? My comment was removed from the Facebook page at a speed that Usain Bolt would be proud of. And no response has been forthcoming. We need to come together to challenge, to champion and to campaign. Is anyone out there in Salford Star land interested? If so, what are we going to do about it?
Michael Felse wrote
at 6:28:19 AM on Monday, October 28, 2013
Always willing to give the benefit of doubt. I ask my Mayor Stewart to give an apology to Salford and to be allowed space on this web-site to explain why he had to make the decision. Maybe we can all work to save our Mayor's bacon. It may have just been one of the many distractions in high office, it may have been on cost grounds but whatever I would like to know facts. Otherwise we can only go on believing what we read. I would advise Mr Mayor, from my own experience, not to leave the verdict in the hands of the press.
Scott Cooper wrote
at 4:02:02 PM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
Salford's heritage gone just like that....if only Ian Stewart thought just for once the money he has spent on needless things in Salford, like the stadium which was supposed to have been for the community, yeah right. Those millions ploughed into that white elephant and I know why...Ian Stewart is a rugby fan. The council never have money unless its something they want. They could have applied to the heritage lottery as they did to put a exhibition on about the stories if chat moss. Correct me if I'm wrong but that was in the region of £94k. Thus council needs to seriously look at the way its treating the heritage of the city.
Michael Felse wrote
at 3:58:31 PM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
The only hope Labour has now is to find a new face to oppose Mayor Stewart in its Labour selection for next Mayor election. I urge Labour to do this now and to make the new name public if it wants to save loss of MPs and Councillors. I hear in the streets the wrath of labour voters and know 5 Labour Party members that already cancelled their direct debit membership. The destroyed heritage must see the person that signed their fate have to answer but I do not want all good councilors to have to pay the price for him. I urge Labour, get your future sorted and fast.
ian whipday wrote
at 12:38:59 PM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
I want to firstly add by saying iam sickened by the mayor of salford regarding what he decided the outcome regarding Salfords heritage, IE the cranes on our docks, our families worked them for generations and in less than 2 days you clear them out, well I will never be voting for my salford mayor ever again and it's all been brought on by yourselves. Before I go I would like thank. Nigel pivaro for all his hard work trying to save our cranes.....
at 12:38:42 PM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
Cath you are spot on. A society does need to be formed by interested parties, so we as Salfordians have a voice. As individuals our opinions are ignored by The Mayor, and The Salford Council. What we need is a vast group of people, whom are willing to legally fight the council, to protect what is worth saving, within Salford. My only concern is that there are not so many people left in Salford, with the backbone to do this. But Cath does have the right idea. At least there is one place, where free speech is still allowed, and that is The Salford Star.
Lisa Peach-Hill wrote
at 8:36:55 AM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
So very very sad, its like the authorities are trying to scrub Salford off the map. People like my Dad work spent their working lives on the docks will be heartbroken about this, its all that was left really.
tom nolan wrote
at 8:36:52 AM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
to all you lot that voted ian stewart and his cronies in ....hang your heads in shame...vote no mayor's next time...
Sam wrote
at 8:36:38 AM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
Anon wrote
at 7:05:03 AM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
Sometimes I wonder whether we've forgotten what culture is. If the Quays Culture Day really was about quays culture, then all the visitors should have been standing around Dock 8, watching the cranes. Instead, they were watching people perform circus tricks outside a shopping mall. Or perhaps that's exactly the point. It was Quays culture day. Not Docks culture. And without the docks, the quays does need circus tricks to distract from the missing history that's been discarded.
Cath wrote
at 7:04:59 AM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
We need a Salford Civic Society - pick the brains of Manchester Civic Society for an example. Enough people have commented here on Facebook and Salfordonline regarding these unfortunate cranes so they could put their 'money where their mouth is' if they want to continue to guard Salford's (remaining) Heritage. Is there much left in Salford worth fighting for? Yes or No. ?? If it is yes then those amongst us with the required talent and interest and EXPERTISE should now get together and form a Salford Civic Society. The council, Peel, etc etc would then have to run all things heritage/construction past the Salford Civic Society. Comments? Offers? Suggestions pls?
Stephen Horrocks wrote
at 7:04:52 AM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
Another nail in the coffin of Salford's proud heritage, rubber-stamped by the overpaid Mayor, who, correct me if I'm wrong, is supposed to look after the city's interests! I'm certain Peel Holdings could have financed their preservation, but if something doesn't have "Manchester" emblazoned all across it, then frankly they aren't interested! An absolute disgrace!
Aledander James Valliant wrote
at 7:04:34 AM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
P.s. I forgot to thank Nigel, The Salford Star, LDOK.netNdebele readers of the Salford Star, and all the other individuals whom legally fought to restore these fabulous cranes which were part of Salford's Industrial Heritage. Bless you all.
Alexander James Valliant wrote
at 7:03:44 AM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
This story, concerning these fabulous cranes, should shout out to the readers, that this is no longer the same city they used to love. As I stated in the last article, concerning these cranes, written by the Salford Star, the cost of refurbishing these cranes, as a rigid work of art, would have cost a fraction of the price, than the one stated by the Salford Council. Even though there were numerous writs sent by Salfordians addressed to the mayor, he still chose to ignore them. So readers, we can now deduce what is all ready known by the minority whom live in Salford. The city of Salford is no longer a democracy, but a dictatorship that is run by fools.
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