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Report - Bloom Street Power station Chimney, Manchester - April 2013

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by fb, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. fb

    fb big in japan
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    OLDNESS ALERT! I've been sat on this for almost a year.. I left it off originally so more of my lot could get it done, then it just sort of got forgotten about until morse, howser, tweek and another couple of ruffians went up it recently. Not sure this is too interesting for anyone else, but the Mancs should enjoy it. :)

    Every time I mention the fact we've managed to climb "that massive chimney near canal street" to people, they just look at me blankly. Despite standing 275 foot from the road below and being visible from almost every point in the city, the old power station at Bloom Street somehow manages to make itself totally camouflage like the spooky hotel in that 90s Alec Baldwin movie "The Shadow". Once you point it out though, you can't help but notice it wherever you go in the city. The power station itself (originally called Winser Street power station), was actually the first generating station in the UK to use the excess steam to heat the nearby buildings via steam pipes, a technique more famously used by Battersea Powerstation in London some twenty years later.
    As the national grid matured with the addition of larger out-of-town powerstations over the next few years, the desire for power remained constant but the requirement for steam heating in the freezing northern town became greater and greater and by 1983, the plant was shipping 119 million pounds of steam to buildings such as the Palace Theatre, UMIST and The Refuge Building (now the palace hotel). Google for it, I assure you it's absolutely fascinating.


    Anyways - while Jobs was taking some heard earned long service leave from the SNC chimney slaying department, myself, millhouse and sho figured it'd be a sensible use of a quiet evening to finish off one of the many things on the todo list and met up on Whitworth street at some ungodly hour of the morning with 2 bags full of rope kit. We worked out our way up, and as we began to sort out our gear I turned to look at sho and millhouse..
    "Who's leading it then?.."

    Not a word. Just an identical look from both of them.
    At me.

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    If you want details of the ascent, ask me over a beer (although I'm sure you'd figure out if you've ever seen pictures of the building). Good climb though, made all the more pleasurable by the starry night and totally absence of wind. Once we'd got our selves up the tricky bit, it was an easy second pitch up to the main roof and a 225 foot steeple jacks ladder to the top.

    Another local landmark off the list. :)

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    #1 fb, Mar 6, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2014

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  2. morse

    morse The Green Giraffe
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    Re: Bloom Street Power station Chimney - April 2013

    One from me
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    Bolts likes this.
  3. tweek

    tweek Huddersfield Tourist Information Board
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    Re: Bloom Street Power station Chimney - April 2013

    Totally agree with fishbrain on this one - mention Bloom Street Power Station to most Mancunians and they will have no idea what you're talking about. It's almost as if it were invisible! Even though it's been truncated from its original height, it's still a behemoth - and perhaps its stubby appearance has a part to play in why it doesn't get more recognition. The design of the building itself is more like a baroque industrial mill than any power station design the mind's eye can conjure.

    A real hidden gem.

    Chimney in 1959
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    Big shout out to Morse, drhowser and Bigjobs for sorting me out on this one. I never ever use ropes - so their gear, expertise and reassurances were literally the only reason I managed to get this beast tamed. Thanks lads. Big up SNC!

    :Not Worthy

     
    #3 tweek, Mar 8, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
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