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Impossibly large structures... Teams with a mission to move them!

This is the kind of daunting challenge facing teams of building movers from the UK, America and Canada in the hit series MONSTER MOVES on Five.

(aka Mega Moves on Discovery Channel & TLC, Impossible Moves on National Geographic US and Huge Moves on National Geographic International)


Programme 1
Rescuing Ramesses

The story of the greatest structural move in history.

In a special edition, we mark the 40th Anniversary of the greatest structural move ever undertaken. We reveal how twenty of Egypt’s finest ancient temples were relocated from the rising waters of the River Nile in the 1960s.

We recount how engineers cut up the twin temples of Abu Simbel into over 1,000 blocks to dismantle, move and re-assemble them piece by piece to safety on higher ground.

We show how divers dismantled monuments flooded underwater on the Island of Philae and recount how the 900-ton temple of Amada was moved two miles on rail tracks across the desert.

To illustrate the techniques used to relocate the temples, a modern day team of movers led by America’s leading structural movers Jerry and Gabe Matyiko attempt to cut, lift and re-assemble a replica sandstone statue of Ramesses.

Programme 2
Risky Rescues

Two teams of building movers attempt two remarkable rescue missions.

On Nantucket Island in Massachusetts, we follow Jerry Matyiko and Joe Jakubik attempt to move Sankaty Head Lighthouse away from the crumbling cliff edge. The historic landmark weighs over 500-tons and is over 90ft tall. Can the team keep it upright as it moves along a unique rail track inland?

In Malmberg, Sweden we follow 25-year old house mover Andreas Martensson relocate the homes in a mining town. With the mine underneath the town collapsing, Andreas is locked in a race against time to move the buildings to safety before the arctic winter strikes.

Programme 3
Long Locomotive

A British team attempt to haul a long lost locomotive across two continents.

Britain’s leading heavy hauler Andrew Goodman embarks on an epic one hundred day journey on road, rail and ocean to move a vintage 15F steam locomotive 7,000 miles from Bloemfontein in South Africa back to Glasgow, Scotland where it was originally built sixty years ago.

The team face a tough set of obstacles hauling the 100-ton loco home. From dockside cranes that prove incapable of lifting the engine to severe ocean storms around South Africa’s treacherous coast. Can Andrew’s team haul it to Glasgow in time for homecoming celebrations?

Programme 4
Wooden Wonders

Two teams of movers battle extreme weather to move two unwieldy wooden buildings

In Manitoba, we follow Canada’s leading heavy hauler Harold Minty relocate a colossal clubhouse 30 miles over a mountain encrusted in snow and ice. The building must be cut into three pieces for the move. Will it survive the rough road journey without warping out of shape?

In Staunton, Virginia we follow house trucker Jimmy Matyiko use every mode of transport possible to move the historic Frontier Village across the countryside. A farmhouse, two barns and a well embark on the journey. But will one of the fragile outbuildings survive being hauled by... horses?

Programme 5
Historic Hulks

Two teams of movers attempt to haul two precious historic hulks to new sites.

In Iowa, mansion mover Jeremy Patterson attempts to shift the huge 1,000-ton Murillo Hall through the middle of a bustling city. Its brick walls are four-layers thick and extremely fragile. Will the building – and the city’s sewers – survive the move without falling apart?

In Vancouver Canada, we follow a team of vintage aircraft enthusiasts attempt to cut up and dismantle a precious Lockheed Lodestar plane to move forty miles across the trans Canada highway. Can the team complete the move before rush hour traffic clogs the road?

Programme 6
Huge Homes

Two teams of building movers attempt to haul two huge homes to new gardens for their owners.

In Texas, we follow a building collector piece together a historic ‘time that town forgot’. His dream is to move a historic 300-ton stone Ranch to his village, called Star Hill, for his mother to live in. Can a move team beat cactuses and rattle snakes to deliver this ultimate gift-wrapped present?

In Seattle, newly-weds Tawny and Ian Wilson buy and attempt to move a historic house into the city. Their two-storey dream home is particularly tall. Can Canadian mover Jeremy Nickel move it across land, sea and an active airport and deliver it to their garden intact?

For broadcast times and dates visit the channel websites
www.five.tv  www.nationalgeographic.com/tv  www.discovery.com  www.tlc.com

Production Credits

Series Producer & Creator : Carlo Massarella
Executive Producer : David Dugan
Producer & Director ‘Rescuing Ramesses’ : Leesa Rumley
Producer ‘Risky Rescues’ : Leesa Rumley
Field Directors ‘Risky Rescues’ : Bettina Truemper & William Lorimer
Producer ‘Long Locomotive’ : Bettina Truemper
Director ‘Long Locomotive’ : Carlo Massarella
Producer & Director ‘Wooden Wonders’ & ‘Historic Hulks’ : Mike Davidson
Producer & Director ‘Huge Homes’ : William Lorimer
Line Producer : Cherry Brewer
Assistant Producer : John Driftmier
Researcher : Lee Reading
Co-ordinator : Jody Collins
Editors : Simon Barker, Chris Roots, Ian Strang
Music : Daniel Pemberton
Graphics : Fluid Pictures


Programme 1
Historic Homes

Two teams of building movers race against time to relocate two huge Historic Homes.

In St Louis, Missouri we follow John Matyiko of Expert House Movers, relocate an Entire Farm Complex of Historic Structures - including a 500 tonne Stone Farmhouse - for Rose Heet’s family who are being forced off their land to make way for a shopping complex. Can the team move and save the whole farmstead before the developers move in?

In New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, we follow father and son move team Phil and Jason Leil slice and dice a huge period home into four pieces to move twenty miles across town for the owner who wants to eliminate her daily commute and live closer to her workplace. Can they dismantle, move and re-assemble the whole structure before bad weather strikes?

Programme 2
Colossal Churches

Two teams of building movers dodge obstacles on town and country roads to relocate two Colossal Churches.

In Iowa, we follow the remarkable cross-country trek of Trinity Lutheran Church. Over years, the church’s congregation had shrunk from 250 to just 13. The parishioners decided to disband the church but save the building. Topped with a 100ft steeple, we follow Ron Holland haul the pristine structure twelve miles across rolling hills to the town of Manning.

In Sarasota, Florida we follow structural mover Brett Johnson and his sons dis-assemble the iconic Crocker Church and Rectory to move though the crammed downtown streets in the dead of night for preservation. Can the team dismantle the church’s fragile steeple for the move without it falling apart?

The Steeple Chase.

Programme 3
Massive Machines

Two teams of movers overcome fraught logistics to move two Massive Machines.

In England we follow heavy hauler Alf Arnold who faces the unenviable task of moving £20million worth of pristine rolling stock 200 miles across the UK for London’s Underground. Once they reach the city, he has to thread each of the 18 carriages down a narrow hole in the road in the correct order onto the track. Will they get the line up and running in time?

In Manitoba, Canada, we chart the emotional journey of husband and wife wreck chasers Pat Madden and Annette Spaulding as they attempt to lift a long lost aircraft off the bottom of a Lake. Can the team haul the aircraft out of the water before winter strikes?

Programme 4
Total Towns

Two teams of building movers face the ultimate challenge : move two Towns of homes.

On Vancouver Island, Canada a team of marine engineers led by visionary developer Mark Lindholm attempt to build and move a series of giant Floating Mansions to form a unique waterborne community. But can they haul the 85-ton luxury aquatic homes through 200 miles of treacherous seas from the construction site to their moorings without them sailing off course?

In Denver, Colorado we reveal how a team of leading skyscraper engineers are turning vertical construction methods horizontal to build, move and assemble an entire town of homes in record time. Will David and Roger Cohen’s radical ideas of building the world’s first full size house factory to create a town in record time transform how communities are created in the future?

For broadcast times and dates visit the channel websites
www.five.tv  www.nationalgeographic.com/tv  www.discovery.com  www.tlc.com

Production Credits

Series Producer : Carlo Massarella
Executive Producer : David Dugan
Producer & Director ‘Historic Homes’ & ‘Colossal Churches’ : Carlo Massarella
Producer & Director ‘Massive Machines’ : Duncan Bulling
Producer & Director ‘Total Towns’ : Jamie Lochhead
Assistant Producer : Bettina Truemper
Editors : Simon Barker, Nick Scullard, Melanie MacDonald
Production Manager : Marisa Verazzo
Music : Daniel Pemberton
Graphics : Fluid Pictures


Programme 1
Mammoth Mansions

Two teams race against the clock to relocate two fragile, super-heavy mansions.

In Charlottesville, Virginia, Jerry Matyiko and Joe Jakubik attempt to relocate the ornate, three-storey Varsity Hall to a new plot (above left). Built in 1857, the 500 tonne masonry monster throws up a host of engineering headaches…the walls are weak, the windows are rotting, and an entire wing of the Hall is loose. Will it survive a nail-biting journey downhill intact?

On Vancouver Island , Canada , Darren and Tanya Daigle along with their four kids and dog visit a housing lot in search of a brand new home. After much deliberation, they buy a stunning nine-bedroom, three storey Victorian mansion (above right). It’s down to heavy hauling brothers Jeremy and Al lan Nickel to deliver the house to their farm. Crammed with precious features, will the Daigle’s dream home survive a 130 mile journey by land and ocean?

Programme 2
Tall Towers

Two teams of engineers battle against storms and snow to relocate two, super-tall, top heavy towers.

At London’s Heathrow Airport, an international team of engineers led by Nick Featherstone have to move a brand new, 1000 tonne glass and steel Air Traffic Control Tower across one of the world’s busiest runways (above left).

While in Manitoba, Canada, fearless building mover Harold Minty has to relocate five, 140 foot tall grain towers 20 miles, over a mountain frozen with ice to a new farm (above right). It’s an epic struggle to keep the towers upright as a viscous snow storm strikes.

Programme 3
Long Loads

In the final programme, two teams of structural movers have to shift two super-long loads.

In Omaha Nebraska , fearless mover Dave Scribnerand his son Bill attempt to make moving history, hauling two of America ’s longest locomotives through downtown city streets. It’s an action packed trek as the 100ft long diesel train - The Centennial (above left) - and the 500 tonne steam train – The Big Boy - are heaved and squeezed out of the rail yard and across town to a new hill top home.

Meanwhile, 1000 miles down the tracks in Deming New Mexico another father and son move team tackle a historic railroad station (above right). The building is up for demolition so Rick and Ricky Little need to move it to a safe haven. But the old station is a 120ft long rickety relic. So they make the unusual decision to saw the building in half and move it as two loads. The big question is….will it fit back together again?

For broadcast times and dates visit the channel websites
www.five.tv  www.nationalgeographic.com/tv  www.discovery.com  www.tlc.com

Production Credits

Series Producer & Director : Carlo Massarella
Executive Producer : David Dugan
Series AP & Producer ‘Long Loads’ : Jamie Lochhead
Editors : Paul Shepard, Justin Badger
Production Manager : Cherry Brewer
Production Co-Ordinator : Jason Hendriksen
Original Music : Daniel Pemberton
Graphics : Fluid Pictures


The international project to relocate the great temples of Abu Simbel and Monuments of Nubia was run by Unesco. Reports on the project can be obtained at www.unesco.org.

Sankaty Head Light on Nantucket is maintained by the Sconset Trust www.sconsettrust.org.

The 15F Locomotive will be displayed at the Riverside Museum, part of Glasgow’s Museum of Transport. More information on this project can be found at www.glasgowmuseums.com. The locomotive was moved by Andrew Goodman of Moveright International www.moverightinternational.com.

You can visit the golf clubhouse moved at Minnewasta Golf & Country Club in Manitoba. More information at www.golfminnewasta.com.

The John Barger American Exhibit village can be found at its new hilltop site at the Frontier Culture Museum in Virginia www.frontiermuseum.org. The village was moved by Jimmy Matyiko of Expert House Movers www.experthousemovers.com.

Murillo Hall in Des Moines, Iowa was relocted by Jeremy Patterson Structural Movers jeremypattersonhousemoving.com.

Information on the preservation of Murillo Hall can be found at the Sherman Hill Neighborhood Association www.shermanhill.org.

The re-assembled and restored Lockheed Lodestar will be displayed at the Canadian Museum of Flight www.canadianflight.org.

The Lockheed Lodestar aircraft was moved by Eagle West Truck and Crane, Abbotsford, British Columbia www.eaglewestcranes.com.

The stone Ranch house forms part of Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas www.starhillranch.com. The building was moved by H. D Snow in Texas www.snowhousemoving.com.

Clavell Tower in Dorset, England was moved off the cliff edge brick by brick in 2005. It is maintained by the Landmark Trust. www.landmarktrust.org.uk.

Port Greville Lighthouse in Nova Scotia, Canada was sawn in half and moved mysteriously by the Coastguard. It was rescued and now sits at the Age of Sail Museum on Greville River /www.nslps.com.

The ‘Blasted Church’ that was moved with the help of dynamite now sits in Okanagan Falls, BC Canada. www.blastedchurch.com.

Boston’s Hotel Pelham was kept open to guests whilst it moved off the pavement to allow the street to be widened. Find out more about historic house moving in New England at www.historicnewengland.org.

The Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in Most was saved from demolition and moved on rails in an incredible operation in 1975. wikipedia.org.

Chalk markings were developed and used for moving irregular stacked stone structures such as the Blacksmiths Shop at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. www.osv.org.

Rose Heet’s historic farm estate in St Louis, Missouri was moved by John Matyiko of Expert House Movers www.experthousemovers.com

Elk Horn Windmill was moved plank by plank from Denmark to Iowa USA. Explore its history at www.danishwindmill.com

Saint Andrews Church in Stockton, England was moved brick by brick and re-assembled ‘inside out’ to spruce up its grimy exterior. Visit the parish at http://www.communigate.co.uk/ne/saintandrews/index.phtml

Trinity Lutheran Church now stands in the town of Manning, Iowa. Extensive pictures of the church’s move and history can be found on Manning’s local website www.davidkusel.com

Trinity Church was moved by Ron Holland of Ron Holland Housemoving. www.hollandhousemoving.com

‘Here It Comes’ was performed by the Manning Quasquicentennial Chorus. The music was composed by Daniel Pemberton www.danielpemberton.com  www.myspace.com/danielpemberton

For images of the move of Crocker Church & House in Sarasota, Florida visit saveoursarasota.blogspot.com/2006/11/historic-church-and-house-settle-into.html

St Haralambos Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Canton, Ohio was cut in half, moved to a larger plot of land and extended to accommodate all its worshipers. Visit the parish at www.stharalambos.com

For images and movies of the Waterloo & City Underground train fleet move visit www.metronetrail.com/default.asp?sID=1144082225312

The community of Floating Homes are in Victoria on Vancouver Island BC, Canada. For more on this futuristic town visit www.westbayfloathomes.ca

The town being created inside the world’s first full size house factory is Newbridge, Colorado. For more on the development go to www.cohenbrothershomes.com

For historical background on the town resettlements in Newfoundland explore www.mun.ca/mha/resettlement/moving_house_1.php  and

Abbey Pynford is one of the few companies in the UK that are equipped to relocate buildings. They relocated the Belle Tout Lighthouse at Beachy Head in Sussex : www.abbeypynford.co.uk

To locate a structural movers in your area of the US or Canada , you can search the International Association of Structural Movers website. The site also contains features, pictures and stories on many other huge moves: www.iasm.org

Varsity Hall and Sankaty Head Light were moved jointly by International Chimney and Expert House Movers. Both sites contain great imagery of other buildings the team have moved from Lighthouses to Theatres and Chimneys: www.internati onalchimney.com , www.experthousemovers.com

The Daigle’s family home and Tawny and Ian’s period house were purchased from and moved by The Nickel Brothers of Vancouver BC, Canada. www.nickelbros.com

More Information can be found on Heathrow’s new Fifth Terminal and Control Tower at : www.baa.com.

Harold Minty relocates large structures across Canada . www.mintysmoving.com

The ‘Centennial’ and ‘Big Boy’ locomotives are displayed at Kenefick Park , Lauritzen Gardens , at the Omaha Botanical Gardens.


Historic background on Deming’s Railroad Depot - the Custom House – can be found at:


Moving both Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Block Island Lighthouse were enormous engineering challenges. These sites detail the moves. www.nps.gov, www.projo.com

A team at the Museum of Welsh Life in St Fagans, Wales have spent twelve years relocating St Teilo’s Church stone by stone. For an update on progress: www.nmg w.ac.uk

Squire Boone’s House, re-located brick by brick, now resides at the Boonesfield Village : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/P arthenon/7109/Boonesfield.html

London Bridge now lives in Lake Havasu City , Arizona . This site details its history and move. http://www.golakehavasu.com/londonbridge.ht ml



“Out of Harm’s Way : Moving America’s Lighthouse”, by Mike Booher and Lin Ezell is one of the few books which details the logistical and engineering challenges of relocating a large structure. This one follows the move of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina .

“Cottage for Sale – Must Be Moved : A Woman Moves a House to Make a Home”, by Kate Wholey, is a more personal account of the upheaval involved in relocating your home.

“Moving Historic Buildings”, by John Obed Curtis is a booklet which details the technical ins and outs of house moving. It also contains some impressive images of structural moves through history.

“The Mysteries of Abu Simbel : Ramesses II and the Temples of the Rising Sun”, by Farouk Hosni details how an international team of engineers relocated the majestic Egyptian temples of Abu Simbel in the 1960’s.

Carlo Massarella, March 2008

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