Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageCommonwealth Games 2014: opening ceremony with a difference

By Amanda Payne     Apr 3, 2014 in World
Glasgow - As the city of Glasgow in Scotland prepares to host the Commonwealth Games this summer, an unusual start to the opening ceremony has been announced today April 3.
In place of the usual fireworks, five tower blocks, built in 1969 and known as the Red Road flats, will be demolished in a fifteen second bang to get the opening ceremony started. The idea is to symbolise the regeneration of Glasgow and it will be the biggest simultaneous demolition ever attempted in Europe, if all goes to plan.
The demolition will be shown live at Celtic Park stadium, where the opening ceremony will take place, via a giant screen and also at Glasgow Green. Millions of viewers from around the world will be watching on television as the tower blocks come down.
There are currently six blocks on the Red Road estate, so residents of the sixth block plus those living in 887 homes nearby will all be evacuated temporarily until it's safe for them to return to their homes. The sixth block is currently being used for asylum seekers and will be demolished in due course.
The Leader of the Glasgow City Council, Gordon Matheson, said in a statement:
"The Opening Ceremony will be the moment when we welcome the world to Glasgow. It will be a ceremony like no other, showcasing our city’s unique style and personality and with our people and communities at its very heart. We are going to wow the world, with the demolition of the Red Road flats set to play a starring role.Red Road has an iconic place in Glasgow’s history, having been home to thousands of families and dominating the city’s skyline for decades. Their demolition will all but mark the end of high-rise living in the area and is symbolic of the changing face of Glasgow, not least in terms of our preparations for the Games."
The estate was originally built to house over 4,400 people in a total of eight tower blocks. The first block was demolished in June 2012 and the second in May 2013.Situated in the north eastern area of Balornock, they were designed by architect Sam Bunton. Despite incredible views of the Campsie Fells and Ben Lomond from the upper floors, there were concerns from the start. The flats were built with steel frames which meant large amounts of asbestos was used to fire proof the buildings.
High rise housing was meant to bring in a new age of living standards but instead, the estate became known for anti social behaviour and crimes. As Glasgow's tallest buildings, the blocks also became notorious for suicides.
There will no doubt be mixed feelings amongst Glaswegians (Twitter is already buzzing) as they watch the land mark towers come down but they will definitely know that no games opening ceremony has ever started with a bang like this.
More about Commonwealth games, Glasgow, Red Road flats
More news from
Latest News
Top News