An old smoker comes down in South Nowra

WORK on the demolition of a South Nowra landmark, the 20-metre brick chimney at the old Nowra Brickworks site, is under way.

Its removal will be a significant change to the South Nowra skyline, with the stack having been part of the local scenery since the 1930s.

Located on the western side of the Princes Highway at South Nowra, the Nowra Brickworks ceased operations more than 20 years ago and is now owned by local development company Druce DP, which uses the site to store earthmoving equipment.

The brick chimney, once an integral part of the manufacturing process, started deteriorating and Workcover NSW issued an order for its removal.

Shoalhaven City Council granted permission for its demolition late last year.

Port Kembla company Tolco started the work on Tuesday which is expected to take at least a week to complete.

Two demolition experts have been suspended in a bucket on the end of a 30-tonne crane dismantling the upper sections of the brickwork by hand.

The work will be undertaken in two stages and once the stack reaches eave height of the adjoining building, Druce DP will then use its own excavator equipment to remove the structure to ground level.

The bricks will be taken to a mobile crusher, which will be located on site, and crushed to between 40 and 80mm for use as sub base on future projects.

The stack was built in the 1930s and was an integral part of the sawdust fired kiln that produced bricks.

The sawdust came from local sawmills.

But when that sort of brick construction became uneconomical and despite an attempt to resurrect the industry in the 1970s the operation was closed.

The expected demolition cost is $75,000.

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