Sunday sees 700 residents evacuated as three historic tower blocks will topple on...

Around 700 people will be evacuated from their homes on Sunday as demolition teams detonate three tower blocks which have been a Blackpool landmark for almost 50 years.

Friday, 29th July 2016, 10:07 am
Updated Friday, 29th July 2016, 12:39 pm
Layton flats, soon to be demolished. This picture, published in the Gazette in 1991, had the caption: Heaven or Hell and was accompanied by the tale of one resident, who scooped £60,000 on the Pools, and chose to stay in his flat
Layton flats, soon to be demolished. This picture, published in the Gazette in 1991, had the caption: Heaven or Hell and was accompanied by the tale of one resident, who scooped £60,000 on the Pools, and chose to stay in his flat

Hundreds of residents are also expected to turn out to view the demolition which will see Walter Robinson Court, Elizabeth Court and Churchill Court reduced to rubble.

An exclusion zone has been set up around the Queens Park site and from 8am on Sunday, residents will be evacuated and taken to nearby support centres ahead of the demolition which is scheduled for around 10am.

The exclusion zone – which will see a number of road closures in the immediate vicinity – is not expected to be lifted until at least 11.30am.

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Class - Gwen King of Queens Park residents association

Here is everthing you need to know about the demolition Layton Flats Timetable

While local roads including Collingwood Avenue, Mather Street, Laburnum Street and Healey Street are within the cordon and will be closed throughout, main routes Devonshire Road and Caunce Street will remain open until 15 minutes before the demolition is due.

No specific viewing area has been organised, but teams of stewards and police are set to be in the area to direct traffic and manage potential crowds.

However with the immediate area being built up, better vantage points may actually be in streets further away.

Ann and Clive Elmer are one of the last families to move in their new home on Stirling Place

Evacuated residents will be served free refreshments, and arrangements have even been made for their pets which can either be taken to the rest centres or else a pet-sitting service is being provided.

Immediately following the demolition, a team of street sweepers will get to work to clean up any debris which has landed on Devonshire Road or Caunce Street in order to get these routes re-opened as soon as possible.

The clean up will continue in the days after, including window cleaning.

Once the site is cleared, it will open the way for the second phase of house-building by developer Lovell, with 81 houses and 18 flats, open space, play areas and car parking.

Class - Gwen King of Queens Park residents association

Already 92 homes have been built in the first phase following the dismantlement of the first two tower blocks – Ashworth Court and Charles Court.

Here is a look back at these iconic landmarks Blackpool’s skyline of the future to become part of history

‘My wife is sad to see tower blocks go but I’m not’

Clive and Ann Elmer lived in Walter Robinson court – the tallest of the tower blocks – for 32 years.

Ann and Clive Elmer are one of the last families to move in their new home on Stirling Place

They’ve now moved into a ground floor flat in the new village where they’ve been living for the past year.

Clive, 73, said while Anne, 70, was emotional about the demise of the blocks, the demolition would not bother him at all.

He added: “I doesn’t really bother me but the missus says she will miss it.

“We used to look right out to the sea and the view was great, especially when the air show was on.

“But as for anything else, I won’t miss it. I’m semi-invalided now and we’re in a nice ground floor flat in the new village on the same site. I hope that they carry on with it as they have and are careful with the people coming on here, as the towers ended up with druggies and all sorts living there.

“Will we watch it? We are being moved out as the roads and buildings are cleared so I don’t think we’ll be able to.

“The wife wouldn’t want to see it anyway.”

On the week of the Layton Flats demolition, we take a look back at other Blackpool landmarks which have been lost forever Blackpool’s lost buildings

Your memories of the condemned tower blocks

They were an answer to a problem of the time, a problem which the country now has again: an acute shortage of housing, particularly social housing. The new estate being built will house far fewer people than the old one did. It would have cost a lot less to bring the blocks up to standard than it has to demolish them and build the new houses. Look at how Manchester has improved the look and condition of many of its tower blocks to see that they can still play a part in solving the housing problem.

Ian Howie

My great great grandmother delivered most of babies born in and around Layton. Lilly Butcher and my aunty and cousin still live on Mather Street. End of an era. As a child I used to play on the park near to the flats.

Marianna Proietti

Lived right behind Walter Robinson Court for several years in the maisonettes. Taxis could never find our house – it’s as if we didn’t exist tucked behind there – then my dad moved into Ashworth Court later on after my mum died. Bitter sweet memories.

Beverley Beaumont

This is the landscape of my childhood, will be sad in a way to see it go. I knew some lovely families who lived in the estate in the 1970s.

Susie Cornes

May have been great at the time but in modern society this town/area unfortunately built itself a poor reputation. Queenstown has been criticised for years.

James Gregson

My mum was brought up here and spoke of many happy memories. So very sad and ironic she lost a son aged 34 when he jumped from the thirteenth floor on Christmas Day of all days. I’ll be glad to not have to see them on the skyline any more.

Raquel Warren

I live in St Annes and can see them from my bedroom, going to be strange not seeing them on the horizon.

Lynn Bob Scott

My little grandson who lives in Layton, and I suppose has seen them most days of his life, loves them – especially the orange one! – and is really upset they are going.

Vivienne-icequeen O’Shea

Lived on Campbell Avenue as these were being built.

Malc Andrew

Grew up on queensy was the best moments of my childhood life be sad to see it all be knocked down.

Ryan Taylor

Out with the old in with the new. Ugly looking oddments.

AJ Hearsum

All a bit ironic really, considering high rise blocks ‘desireable’ in places like NY and London for instance.

Jackie Marsden

Lived in, lived next to. Loved them.

Darren Thomson

Lived on Laycock Gate. Great memories.

Pablo Richards

It will be very strange not to see them on the skyline

Debs Skinn-Cotton

Some of my best childhood memories around there

Perri Simpson

These blocks might be a eyesore to some but to others they were home. I am sad to see them go, end of a era so many good times there

Claudette Spencer

Bad memories for me cannot wait to see these come down.

Carl Orritt

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