History - 1940s Blitz Beginnings

1940s Blitz Beginnings

Discover more about our history and milestones by decade.

In 1941, Winston Churchill called for London’s demolition experts to help make safe Britain’s Blitz-damaged buildings and recover materials to aide the nation’s war effort.

By the end of the 40s the NFDC had already been leading the way for fair pay and working conditions championing initiatives such as the B&CE holiday scheme and the Demolition Industry Wages Board.

History - 1950s Rebuilding Britain

1950s Rebuilding Britain

Ten years after its founding, the NFDC and its members were clearing the way to rebuild post-war Britain. The Federation proved its worth to the nation at this time, building strong ties to the Ministry of Works and subsequently playing a pivotal role in the tendering arrangements for high profile demolition projects.

History - 1960s Setting The Standard

1960s Setting the Standard

The 60s saw the birth of the Federation’s first Standard Form of Contract, and at the same time the NFDC was working with the British Standards Institute to set out a single Code of Practice document for demolition. When the CITB was set up in 1964, NFDC was a staunch voice for demolition, ensuring CITB met the industry’s specific requirements.

History - 1970s Growing The Industry

1970s Growing The Industry

Three decades in and the NFDC and its members had laid the groundwork for the demolition industry to boom. With demolition well and truly out of construction’s shadow, new organisations rose up including The National Demolition Training Group, The Institute of Demolition Engineers, and The European Demolition Association.

History - 1980s In With The New

1980s In with the New

With the scrapping of the DDIR scheme in 1980, NFDC membership became the only formal measure of quality in the demolition industry, a responsibility the Federation is proud to carry. Following this the NFDC leant into new technologies and opportunities, utilising revolutionary-for-its-time video content to showcase members and standards.

History - 1990s Reaching New Heights

1990s Reaching New Heights

By the 90s the High Reach Excavator had put the wrecking ball into retirement, forever changing the industry. At the same time the NFDC, NDTG, and CITB were launching the CCDO Card Scheme, another complete game changer for the industry. The 90s also saw the first NFDC London Marathon runners, and Howard Button taking the helm as President.

History - 2000s Founding The Future

2000s Founding the Future

You could say that the Federation as we know it today took shape in the 2000s. Howard Button took on the role of CEO, Lord Snowdon became the Federation’s first ever patron, the Accredited Site Audit Scheme was launched, and the NFDC & NDTG moved to the new Resurgam House in Paradise, Hemel Hempstead.

History - 2010s Let's Get Digital

2010s Let’s get Digital

Once again growing with new technology, the Federation launched CCDO smart cards for CCDO accreditation, revolutionising the already ground-breaking scheme. The 2010s also saw the NFDC leading efforts to safeguard mental health and wellbeing in the wider sector, signing the Building Mental Health Charter and launching significant resources for members.

History - 2020s Forging ahead

2020s Forging Ahead

In the face of unprecedented times and ‘new normals’ the NFDC has continued to stand strong in recent years, once again embracing technology while also bringing decades of expertise to bear. The resilience of the organisation and its members has shown that our Federation is truly ‘still mighty at eighty’.

The Federation has achieved incredible milestones over its rich 80-year history. It has helped to safeguard the lives of thousands of demolition workers, it has raised competence in demolition operatives to unprecedented levels and it has become self-regulating and exacting in its standards. NFDC has become the most influential and enduring institution in the demolition sector. All involved, from the founding fathers to past presidents to today’s members, should be rightly proud of all that has been achieved by our Federation.
Howard Button, Past CEO

Further reading


NFDC Yearbook 2021


NFDC Yearbook 2022

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Our goals and priorities for the future of demolition.