The passing of Sidney Hunt Snr
By Lindsay Gale12 June 2008
Sidney Hunt Snr was one of the leading lights of the UK demolition industry in the last 50 years. D&Ri commemorates the passing of this colourful figure.
It is with great regret that D&Ri has learned of the death of Sidney Hunt Snr, one of the leading figures in the UK demolition industry over the last 50 years. One of the fathers of the NFDC, he had a major influence over the development of the industry in this country. What follows is the obituary produced by the NFDC, the body he did so much to promote and develop.
Sidney Hunt Snr was a leading figure in the UK demolition sector for more than 50 years; the only man ever to serve two terms as President of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors; a founder member of the Institute of Demolition Engineers; Demolition Man of the Year in 1980 and again in 1989; and the originator of the National Demolition Training Group.
The man who shaped the UK demolition industry perhaps more than any other individual before or since had a remarkable life and career. He served in the British Army's Bomb Disposal Unit during the Second World War; he was once stage manager to Dame Margot Fontayne; he instigated the wearing of hard hats on UK demolition sites during his first term as NFDC president; and he was the constant figurehead of the Sidney Hunt Snr Scholarship, the eponymous scheme named in honour of his unyielding commitment to improved training standards in his beloved demolition industry.
A passionate and often outspoken activist with the passion, determination and sheer bloody mindedness to get things done, Sidney Hunt Snr counted Lord Snowdon among his closest friends and was held in high regard as much by members of the House of Commons and House of Lords as he was by his peers in the demolition sector. It was these high-ranking connections that would ultimately lead Sidney Hunt Snr to the second passion of his life – charity fundraising. Together with the NFDC, he was a keen supporter of the Lord Snowdon Award scheme, raising well over £1.0 million for this charity and a number of others. He once said of the demolition industry: “We’re rough bastards, but we have a heart.”