VIDEO: Bulldozers move in on old Derbyshire Times' printing works

Bulldozers have started to knock down the old building which used to print the Derbyshire Times.

Monday, 15th February 2016, 2:42 pm
Updated Monday, 15th February 2016, 3:25 pm
The demolition site.

The demolition of the former Derbyshire Times’ offices on Station Road started last month.

Excavators have completely knocked down one of the buildings which at one time was used as offices and a training centre and have now started demolition work on the former printing site.

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The demolition site.
The demolition site.

Eric Lowe, the last pressroom manager at Station Road, said: “My career started at the Derbyshire Times on March 21, 1961. I was 15 and an apprentice printer.

“My first impression was of a majestic black and brass Crabtree newspaper press acquired from the Scotsman paper in Edinburgh. The Station Road building had been specially built to house this press.

“When it started up the whole building vibrated and it was like the heartbeat of the building. The huge DC motors which ran the press took all the power and TV screens disappeared and lights dimmed in Mill Street and Eyre Street - people weren’t happy!

“My first job was cleaning and maintenance and when the press was running keeping the ink ducts full from large tanks pumped by hand. It was a noisy and dirty environment – the smell of ink and paper filtered through the air along with ink mist.

“The Derbyshire Times’ print run started on the dot at 1.10pm every Thursday and finished at 7.30pm – 86,000 copies.

“It will certainly be emotional to see the old buildings go. A lot of ex-colleagues will feel the same.

“Goodbye to the irreplaceable Derbyshire Times’ buildings at Station Road.

“It is the end of an era.”

Planning documents state Cordwell Properties LLP intends to create more car parking spaces at the site after the work has taken place.

One of the buildings on the site – which used to be the offices for editorial and commercial staff – has been redeveloped into the headquarters for Heathcotes Group, a provider of residential care homes. This will not be knocked down.

Station Road was the Derbyshire Times’ home for 100 years.

Over that century, thousands of people from Chesterfield and surrounding areas worked at the premises in a wide variety of roles.

The multimedia publisher relocated to new offices at Spire Walk in Chesterfield in June 2013.

Mill Street and Station Road is currently closed closed between Corporation Street and Spa Lane until May 30 to facilitate the demolition work.

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “A diversion will be in place and access will be maintained, wherever reasonably possible, on the affected length of road.

“The road will reopen as soon as the work is finished – this may be earlier than May 30.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused while the work takes place.”