October 21, 2014

C&D customer Safedem is first UK demolition firm with Be Fair Accredition

We have to say congratulations to Safedem for managing to become the first demolition company in the UK to be awarded Be Fair Accredition. But what exactly does that mean?

The Be Fair Framework was created by the CITB, which is committed to promoting Equality and Diversity within the industry. The framework is an industry specific standard which provides a structure for employers to address fairness, inclusion and respect within their organisation. Benefits include:
  • Creating an environment where employees feel valued and supported
  • Creating an opportunity for an organisation to become a preferred employer and supplier of choice
  • Helping an organisation achieve corporate social responsibility gains and promoting the business within communities
  • Strengthening tender offers and helping win contractsIncreasing business benefits such as improving work-life balance for employees, reducing staff turnover, helping address skills shortages and attracting new recruits
  • Promoting public recognition as a quality organisation.
Commenting on achieving accredition, Safedem managing director William Sinclair said:

"Be Fair Accreditation demonstrates fairness, inclusion and respect to all – values that everyone at Safedem endorse and can take pride in "

Source: NFDC

IDE Council elections: John Woodward is hoping to be re-elected to the Council Of Management

John has now completed his two years in the position of Immediate Past President of the IDE, which means that in the upcoming elections he needs to stand for re-election to the Council of Management and he needs to get sufficient votes to win a seat.

Admittedly this election is not the General Election and there are no political parties and coalitions to consider, but all IDE members do need to vote and really consider which candidates to vote for as this year is crucial for the future of the IDE as we know it.

Bearing all this in mind, John has prepared the following election manifesto that we are happy to reproduce here:

"I have been a full member of IDE since 2000, a Council of Management member since 2004 and I was awarded a Fellowship of IDE in December 2008 in recognition of my work for the institute.

I am a Former President of IDE, holding the office from November 2010 until November 2012.

During my time in the IDE from 2000 to 2012 I attended every IDE Seminar and every IDE Regional meeting (including the one in Bristol when 5 people attended) as I firmly believe that the IDE is unique in the World and I love the exchange of views that we get from IDE meetings.

During my Vice Presidency I worked with Terry Quarmby to lift the profile of the IDE in the Construction industry and I continued to do that during my Presidency. The introduction of CPD was not universally popular but I believe that it demonstrated to the world that the IDE was an organization for people who wanted to improve their knowledge and wanted to prove that they were supremely skilled and fully competent.

The IDE core membership is made up of engineers in all sorts of companies carrying out their daily business of turning client's dreams into reality and clearing the past to make way for the future and I want those engineers to be recognized as problem solvers and innovators.

This time around there will be many candidates up for election to council, so I ask you to consider carefully whether others will have the best interests of the membership at heart as I do and I would urge you to not only ensure that you cast your vote, but to give a great deal of thought as to how you cast your vote.

I am fully committed to restoring the IDE profile to its former level and to make the construction industry and private developers fully aware of what IDE membership stands for and what IDE members can do for their projects.

Remember that IDE membership is for individuals not companies and if you want your IDE to continue to grow and recognition of your skills to be universal then vote for a candidate who will work tirelessly to promote IDE and ensure that your voice is heard.

It would be an honour to be re-elected to Council.


October 20, 2014

Building Collapses and Dangerous Structures event this Thursday

This Thursday, October 23rd, there is a Building Collapses and Dangerous Structures event being held at the University of Bristol from 6pm. The speaker will be Martin Ashmead CEng FISTRUCTE FICE MRICS. Martin is a former Principal Structural Engineer and Public Protection Building Control Manager, also a ‘Proper Officer’ (Dangerous Structures) – Bristol City Council.

If you would like to attend then please email mahara.booshanam@curtins.com or call on 01179 252825.

The address of the event is:

University of Bristol,
Queens Building,
University Walk,
Bristol BS8 1TR

IDE Autumn Seminar 2014 highlights

Did you miss the IDE Autumn Seminar 2014 edition? Don't worry, the IDE website has done a great job of summarising the entire event for everyone to read.

Head on over to the IDE website for the full rundown of what went on.

Four multi-storey blocks to be demolished in south Glasgow

Tarfside Oval is being regenerated, and the Glasgow Housing Association has decided to demolish four mutli-storey tower blocks in the area as part of that plan.

The four blocks in question are 20, 40, 60, and 80 Tarfside Oval in Cardonald, south of Glasgow. The flats are already empty of residents, but still cost money to maintain up to a safe standard. Demolishing them will make way for new housing to be built on the land. In total some 60 houses are planned.

This is not a decision the GHA has taken alone. Local residents are apparently in favour of the demolition occurring. The flats are very umpopular and regenerating them would have been even more costly. So now demolition is on the cards, with the work taking place before the end of 2015 and meaning we could see new houses appearing there at some point in 2016.

Source: GHA

October 17, 2014

Northern Soul hits cinemas, and John reflects on his youth and the defining music he listened to back then

As the new film "Northern Soul" hits the cinemas today John reflects on his youth and how he got into the music that defined the late 60's and the 70's for many people.

Today sees the nationwide release of "Northern Soul" a new film from Elaine Constantine that tells the story of Northern Soul fans and Wigan Casino so I thought I would take a few minutes to reflect on my memories of all nighters and classic soul.

To most people the mention of the words "Northern Soul" will spark them into mentioning Wigan Casino with its wooden sprung dance floor and all nighters but there is a lot more to it than just Wigan and, in my opinion, the clubs before Wigan were where the sounds, the dancing and the lifestyle was founded.

My first memory of "Northern" is from Toll End Youth Club in my home town of Tipton where on Friday nights we would go to the disco to listen to the local DJs playing Motown sounds such as "Can't Help Myself" (often referred to as Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) and Dancing in the Streets and dance in our own way to our favourites and then one night in walked an older guy in a long black overcoat (Crombie) with Levi jeans and tassel loafers from Ravel and he stood around for a while before asking the DJ to play "There was a time" by Gene Chandler and then proceeded to dance like a man possessed, whirling and spinning, falling backwards onto his hands and then flipping up into his feet before sliding sideways. I couldn't believe what I was seeing so after the strings at the end subsided I asked him his name (Kenny Greensill) and where did he go to learn to dance like that?

Kenny told me of a life of great music, great friends and great clubs so I decided there and then I had to go and try them out. Around the same time Roland O'Connor (who works for C&D) was travelling each week to the Twisted Wheel in Manchester and came back with tales of unknown records costing a fortune that filled the floors, people dancing all night from 8.00pm to 8.00am and then going home for a sleep before heading to Worcester or Whitchurch to start again!

Roland and I became regulars at the Queen Mary Ballroom in Dudley where Farmer Carl, Oscar Michael and Jamie Carr (who later married my cousin Julie) played great music like "Can I get a Witness- Marvin Gaye", "6x6 - Earl Van Dyke" and "Wade in the Water" and our dancing got better and better as did our suits. I remember that I had a particularly nice check three piece suit with plain trousers with 24 inch bottoms and Roland had a white three piece suit years before John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.

The natural progression from the Motown influenced Queen Mary was to the Catacombs in Temple Street, Wolverhampton with it's low vaulted ceiling and DJ booth at one end. Condensation ran down the walls like rivers as it was so hot but the music just got better and better - "Hey Girl Don't Bother Me - The Tams", "Cracked up over you", "Blowing my mind to pieces" "Bok to Bach" and "Fife Piper". The Catacombs ended when most of us were just getting warmed up so the logical thing was for my old A35 van or Roland's Ford Anglia to be filled with people and head off up the M6 to The Golden Torch at Hanley or to Up the Junction in Crewe to dance until dawn.

The Torch for me was the ultimate soul venue with more money changing hands in the toilets than ever was taken at the door. Here was where I first saw the sale of uppers and downers and where I saw people selling records from small carry cases. Records that were "pressings" or copies of well known floor fillers as everyone wanted a copy of the sounds of the day but with the originals changing hands for £50 (that was a lot of money in 1970) few people could afford a real version. Dancers queued for hours to get into the venues carrying Adidas holdalls containing a change of shirt (dancing meant changing your polo shirt at least twice each night) and tins of talcum powder that was sprinkled onto the dance floor so your leather soled Solacio loafers could get a good grip when you went into your spin.

Up the Junction eventually closed so we then moved our Saturday nights to the Highland Room at Blackpool Mecca where Ian Levine was playing a "new" Northern Soul before finally swopping to Wigan.

The soundtrack of the film features many great sounds of the era but I must admit that I am disappointed that it does not include Ski-ing in the Snow (the one record that sums up Wigan for me) or Long After Tonight is All Over which was traditionally played as the last song at many all nighters over the years (and will be played at my funeral).

It goes without saying that I will be at the Lighthouse Cinema in Wolverhampton this week (the film runs for seven nights) to relive my youth but I doubt I can backflip any more. I will be taking my Adidas bag and talc just in case!

Northern Soul - The Sound of a Generation.

Latest issue of D&RI magazine now available

The latest edition of Demolition & Recycling International Magazine is available to read online. This issue includes the following highlights:

Demoliton Awards - a full guide to the shortlisted entries for the World Demolition Award
Breakers - the latest news in the carrier mounted hydraulic breaker sector
Site report - Christchurch has successfully demolished many of its earthquake damaged buildings, but there is still a way to go
Bauma China - D&Ri provides a brief guide to Asia's premiere construction event

As well as being made available to read online above, you can also downloaded the magazine to your PC, or access it on your Android, iOS, or Windows Phone device of choice. Visit PocketMags for all the options.

Best of the HSE e-bulletin

On Wednesday the Health and Safety Executive highlighted numerous safety issues in their weekly digest eBulletin. This is a great opportunity for them to focus on particular issues that have become apparent due to recent court cases. In the latest release the subjects were:

Asbestos - Facts and figures followed by details of a recent court case



Working at Height – examples of recent cases showing not only the cost to the employee and their families, but also to the companies involved.




Noise and Vibration – Two new workplace posters available and problems of excessive noise due to lack of volume control in Keighley.



Vehicles at Work – Latest update of HSG136 “A Guide to Workplace Transport Safety (3rd now available).


Remember training for your employees on all the above subjects, can be provided by C&D Consultancy.

Here is a link to the training we do:


So book your courses today by getting in touch with us at: margaret@demolishdismantle.co.uk

HSE Events

Construction dust: protect you and your workers - four FREE seminars:



October 16, 2014

Glasgow Housing Association starts demolishing Knightswood tower blocks

Back in July eight tower blocks were chosen for demolition around the Plean Street and Lincoln Avenue areas of Knightswood in Glasgow. Now the Glasgow Housing Association has begun demolition work on two of those blocks: 240 and 280 Lincoln Avenue.

Four blocks have already been refurbished on the estate and residents moved out of these two towers, the current work underway is the soft strip of both towers by Technical Demolition Services. After that a long reach machine will be used to bring the towers down.

Source: Urban Realm

October 15, 2014

IDE Council elections are looming

This year sees changes at the top of the IDE with Duncan Rudall taking over the President's jewel from Steve Jack and five places on the Council available in the election.

The nomination process is now complete and all members will soon receive their voting papers via email along with full biographies of those standing for election.

The voting papers will indicate that you have UP TO 5 votes to use on your selections and I would urge you all to vote and to think carefully as to how you use those votes. If, for example, you really like three candidates then just vote for those three as if you cast your "spare" votes for others who are not your preferred choices then you could, inadvertently, end up voting candidates in to office who were not your preferred choice. As in effect using all of your five votes "dilutes" the election process.

Please remember that the IDE is an organisation for Individual Demolition Engineers and not company organisations and that the core membership is individuals working within our industry. During my time on the Council and during my Presidency I tried to make the IDE an institute for the people, please vote for individuals who want it to remain that way and who have the best interests of the IDE and it's core members in mind.

This election is crucial for the future of the IDE following the last two years of consolidation so please vote wisely and, please vote Woodward.