Westbury cement works chimney demolished

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Media captionWestbury cement works chimney was demolished at about 07:00 BST

A 122m-high (400ft) industrial chimney that has dominated the Wiltshire skyline for decades has been demolished.

The Westbury cement works, owned by Tarmac, were constructed in the early 1960s and mothballed in 2009.

The chimney was brought down by a controlled explosion. Nine-year-old schoolgirl Lily Sargent pressed the button after winning a competition.

The demolition marks the end of over 40 years of cement production at the site.

Image caption Lily said it was "quite a big explosion" and was "really happy" to push the button
Image caption Members of the public were not allowed onto the site but could view the demolition from the White Horse viewing area

Stuart Wykes, from Tarmac, said it was "amazing" that thousands of people gathered on the hillside in the early hours to watch the demolition.

He said:"There's a lot of work done leading up to something like this, so the chimney is weakened in certain places and certain sections taken out and then over 200 detonators put in around it so it collapses in a certain way.

"I've heard from all the guys down on site that it went absolutely to plan."

Mr Wykes said the site was still an "active railhead" for Tarmac, although cement was no longer produced there.

He said the company imported cement which is brought in by rail and bagged and packed and then exported, and "this would continue for some years but without the iconic chimney".

The cement works are about 1.6km (1 mile) to the north east of Westbury, with the chimney formerly visible from miles away.

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