Posted by: digibirder | August 27, 2008

End of an era

A few weeks ago, I heard that the cooling towers at Tinsley, Sheffield, which were the only remnants of the long-gone Blackburn Meadows Power Station, were finally to be demolished. There was talk of this last year, but the decision was held off. E.on, the owners of the land, are now planning to build a new biomass power plant on the site, but say they will have a “…lasting piece of art in recognition of the unique place and impact the cooling towers have had in Sheffield.” The demolition took place in the early hours of Sunday morning, although it didn’t quite go to plan. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to go down and get some photographs before they disappeared. I had no intention of going down at 3am to see the blast! It seemed strange when we passed the site on the way to work yesterday, seeing the empty space where they once stood. There was a campaign to save them, and I think they should have been preserved. They were, apparently, unsafe and it was only their proximity (17 metres) to the Tinsley Viaduct (which carries the M1 motorway) that delayed their demolition. There were seven towers originally on the site. I have no family connection to the power industry they served (my father worked in the steel industry), but they were a part of our industrial heritage, and they were thought to be the oldest examples of this type of cooling tower remaining in the country. Photos taken from in and around the Meadowhall Shopping Centre overflow carpark.

Under the carriageway of the motorway underpass


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