Stand Down!

Bram Paton, project manager for Taylor Woodrow, says that work on the new Dr. Martens West Stand is going well - despite the good weather!

You could be forgiven for thinking the warmer, drier days would be a welcome relief from the misery of the wet winter, but, with demolition work at full tilt, a bit of a shower wouldn't go amiss.

But for the steel men from Scotland to the demolition men from Birmingham, despite the elements, work continues apace.

"The building is coming on fine, the services are going in and everything else is getting done," says Bram. "When you are doing demolition a bit of rain helps because it damps everything down.

"We had the rain when we didn't want it: if we had it now it wouldn't be as bad as when we did have it.

"You look at all the records and they show it has been the wettest winter on record.

"It has been a bloody struggle, and although we are not on programme we are hoping to open on time.

"We have a lot to do in the next couple of months but November is still the target to complete."

A glance at the videocam is a must if you want a last, lingering look at any of the old west stand; there'll be nothing left of it in a week's time.

"We've got about 80% of the stand down now and the demolition will be finished in about a week," says Bram.

"It is coming along quite well and there haven't been any unforeseen problems; there was a bit of asbestos to clear but we knew there would be.

"It has come down quite easily and it is staggering to think that it takes years to build and a few weeks to pull down.

"It is pretty well on schedule and we should be there on August 18th or whatever."

The complications are caused by simultaneous building and destruction, and Bram adds: "It is not an easy way of building although it is a clever idea because of the interface between the demolition and the construction.

"Previously it was about the interface between the fans and the construction but that has obviously finished for a while.

"With that we only had one little hitch in the season and we were happy with how that went.

"In a couple of months we have to do the same but instead of letting them through our building site we will have to let them into it!

"It's hard work and will get harder, but it's okay."