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Athlone towers bite the dust

August 29, 2010

Now you see ’em, now you don’t. Yup, if you blinked you’d have missed it, and if, like me, you thought Cape Town is always late, you’d have been wrong. The twin towers of Athlone fell in just eight seconds – and three and a half minutes ahead of schedule. How inappropriate for a city known disparagingly as “Slaapstad”.

The blast caught many by surprise, including Andrew Barnes of eNews who missed the demolition and appeared dumbfounded as he checked his watch live on air. I was sadly unable to get my camera ready in time for a video and therefore only have before and after shots. Never mind, you’ll find videos on YouTube and images all over the web. This one is my favourite (I love the commentary):

My photos, taken from Clyde Pinelands Sports Club, 500m from ground zero:


The cooling towers, with Athlone Power Station’s turbine hall to the left


Thousands turned up, most having walked on what was jokingly dubbed the “fan mile”


Many more viewed from Devil’s Peak, including Rhodes Memorial (my original choice) – after all, it’s not every day you see a building blow up


Now you seem ’em…


…now you don’t

The atmosphere at Clyde Pinelands Sports Club was festive, with thousands coming out to see the landmark towers fall. I made the mistake of assuming that no one will miss them. However, it soon became clear from comments made around me that the demolition polarised Capetonians. What do you think? Certainly, it was weird for me driving on the N2 the other day and seeing a pile of rubble where the “two ladies of Athlone” once stood. Ideas have already been proposed for redevelopment of the site. I’m curious to see how it pans out.

One more thing. Who was the MC on the day? I take it the City spent their entire budget on dynamite, failing to put any cash aside for a decent speaker.

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From → Cape Town

One Comment
  1. Scott permalink

    Yo mama was the speaker!

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