THE demolition of one of Accrington's best-known landmarks is almost complete.
For the last 10 weeks, a team of seven workmen, assisted by a 28-ton Hymac excavator, has been busy knocking down the former Accrington Observer offices in Edgar Street. The building was the headquarters of the newspaper for almost a century.
In the near future, the site, which is now owned by the Greater Manchester Weekly Newspaper Group, will be fenced off and used by Observer employees as a private car park.
The company had attempted to sell off the building after the Observer moved to more modern premises in Blackburn Road around a decade ago. However, the continuing deterioration of the old building meant that in the end there was no alternative other than demolition.
The Observer had been both written and printed in Edgar Street since the turn of the century, and for three generations was owned by members of the Crossley family.
GMWN's managing director Mr Malcolm Doeg said: "We did have discussions with the council about it buying the site but apparently it had no budget to do this.''
He added: "We do not really know what will happen to the land in the future. We will just have to await developments.''
The demolition work has been carried out by Westhoughton contractors Walter Forshaw Ltd. Site manager Mr George Horsfall said: "It has certainly been a hard job knocking the building down. Because of its condition inside we have had to move about very carefully before taking down the various structures.''