A ‘structural shell’ is all that remains of Greyfriars bus station – a final tour of the ‘mouth of Hell’ before it is imploded has revealed.
The 1976 ‘brutalist’ structure is set to be reduced to rubble via a detonation of 2,000 explosive charges on Sunday, March 15.
The Chronicle & Echo was granted one final look of the bus station and its upper floor offices, once home to Barclaycard, today.
Billy Young, contracts manager for DSM Demolition Group, which is carrying out the controlled demolition, said the building has been extensively stripped since the Chron was last shown round there in July.
He said: “A lot has been happening over the past few months and we are now well into the enabling works for the demolition itself.
“The building has now been extensively assessed and stripped - we are just back to the structural shell now.”
When the Chron viewed inside Greyfriars in July, the inside of the building was littered with lighting fixtures stripped from the 4,000 sq ft office space once occupied by Barclaycard.
Around 25 workers have spent months dropping the stripped materials down three large former lift shafts to the ground floor. A total of 400 sacks of pigeon droppings were removed from the 1976 building.
A top floor garden and pond - which in July resembled an overgrown wilderness – has now been completely removed.
Vertical concrete building supports have been lined with wire meshing and a black ‘geo-textile’ material in preparation for the demolition.
Holes will be drilled in 2,000 locations across the structure and explosive material inserted within them.
However Mr Young said security will be a top priority in the final stages of the demolition preparation.
“Enhanced security measures of the site will be put in place during the latter stages of the preparation,” he said.
The demolition, which will happen in a timed floor-by-floor detonation, is designed to make the building collapse in on itself.
It is estimated DSM workers will remain on-site clearing the rubble until July.
Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor David Mackintosh, said that anyone whose home or business sits within the exclusion zone of the demolition and is concerned about the March 15 ‘blowdown day’, will be able to attend open meetings in the run up to the event.
He added: “Everyone in the 414 properties that are affected, whether they are residents of businesses, will have access to a helpline number and there will be an opportunity for them to ask individual questions.”