Felixstowe: Port crane toppled by demolition contractors

GOING, going . . . gone.

Once a state-of-the-art piece of engineering, now just a crumpled pile of metal slumped on a quayside.

That was the fate for one of the Port of Felixstowe’s oldest ship-to-shore cranes as demolition contractors toppled the giant beast on the Landguard Terminal.

Workers broke the joints on the legs of the Conrad Stork model and then pulled it backwards onto the quayside, watched by a crowd of shipwatchers forced to vacate the Port Viewing Area for safety reasons and gaze through steel fence palings at the drama.

It went pretty much to plan – though the crane’s jib was left sticking up defiantly in the air.

It was the first of two out-of-date cranes, more than 20 years old, being demolished at Landguard. Over the next couple of weeks the felled crane will be dismantled and then attention will turn to the next.

The terminal – the first purpose-built container facility in the country when it was opened in 1967 – is currently mothballed and will be transformed into a deepwater quay able to handle the world’s biggest ships when the port embarks on its next phase of its expansion in a few years’ time.

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The cranes – which no longer have the necessary reach to unload modern ships – were due to be demolished earlier in the year but the operation was postponed because Peregrine falcons appeared to be making one of the structures their home.

After consultation with the RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust, it was decided to wait until after the breeding season – in the end the birds didn’t breed or nest on the cranes.

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