07/12/2011 DENNY. Pic of Duke St end of Church Walk (opp post office), which is being demolished
07/12/2011 DENNY. Pic of Duke St end of Church Walk (opp post office), which is being demolished

Robert McIntosh spent his apprenticeship building Church Walk – and now he’s helping to demolish it.

The 55-year-old is part of the team charged with bringing down the first section of the dilapidated residential and commercial blocks in Denny town centre.

It means Robert’s professional career has now come full circle.

Back in 1971 he was working as an apprentice bricklayer for Robertson’s of Bonnybridge.

The firm was one of several who worked on the ambitious project that dramatically altered the face of Denny.

Church Walk was supposed to offer improved housing and better shops for people in the area, and for a while after its completion it proved popular with people in the area.

Fast forward 40 years and residents are now eagerly waiting for the entire building to be demolished so that their town centre can be given a much-needed facelift.

Robert, who has worked for Central Demolition for the past 15 years, was philosophical when asked if he had any mixed feelings about destroying something that he once helped create.

“I stay in Bonnybridge, so it’s really up to the people of Denny to decide what they want to do with their town centre” he said.

“They want this to be demolished, so that’s what we’re being paid to do.”

Work on flattening the first section of Church Walk, facing Duke Street, was delayed after unrecorded gas metering equipment was discovered in the building, but has now been largely completed.

The exposed end of the building will be roughcast and the site cleared.

The next section to be raised will be the block facing St Alexander’s Church on Stirling Street with work scheduled to begin in January.

The remainder will be demolished once the remaining shops in Stirling Street have been vacated, a process that is on-going.

The work is being carried out as part of Falkirk Council’s plan to regenerate the heart of Denny.

The Falkirk Herald revealed in September that Falkirk Council had ended its partnership with development company Henry Boot and was now proceeding with the project alone.

It envisages constructing a new two-storey building with space for nine retail units and a new library.

The remainder of the cleared Church Walk site will have utilities installed and marketed for future commercial development.

Meanwhile, Davies Row could re-open to traffic this week.

The road had been scheduled to be closed until January 13, but Falkirk Council is negotiating with Central Demolition to bring this date forward.

Falkirk Council’s regeneration office at 97 Church Walk is open to the public every Tuesday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.