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Report - Control Room A - Battersea Power Station, London - August 2013

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Nobby, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Nobby

    Nobby Beard!
    Regular User

    Dec 16, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Visited with members Chaos and Evilgenius.

    Battersea had been in the back of our minds for some time with varying stories of success and epic fails with the over zealous secca.

    This time we had one location on our minds within the menacing confines of Battersea, Control Room A. Notoriously difficult to access we made it our mission of the afternoon to get in there and get it done.


    Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Battersea Power Station was built in two stages.
    Battersea A was finished in1933, with Battersea B coming on line in 1953.
    The two stations were built to an identical / mirrored design, providing the well known four-chimney layout.

    At it’s peak in 1953 it produced around 509MW making it the third largest in the UK at the time.
    This was a fifth of London’s electricity, with 28 other London stations producing the rest.

    By the 1970s the station's output was falling.
    This, coupled with increased operating costs, such as flue gas cleaning, led to Battersea's demise.
    On 17 March 1975, the A Station was closed after being in operation for 42 years.
    By this time the A Station was co-firing oil and its generating capacity had reduced to 228 MW.

    Three years after the closure of the A Station, rumours began to circulate that the B Station would soon follow.
    A campaign was then launched to try to save the building as part of the national heritage.
    As a result the station was declared a heritage site in 1980, when the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Heseltine, awarded the building Grade II listed status.
    (This was upgraded to Grade II* listed in 2007.)

    On 31 October 1983 production of electricity at Station B also ended, after nearly 30 years of operation.
    By then the B Station's generating capacity had fallen to 146 MW.
    The closure of the two stations was put down largely to the generating equipment becoming out-dated, and the
    preferred choice of fuel for electricity generation shifting from coal toward oil, gas and nuclear power.

    Since the station's closure the site has remained largely unused, with numerous failed redevelopment plans from successive site owners.
    In July 2012, the power station was sold to a consortium led by Malaysia’s SP Setia for £400 million.
    In January 2013 the first residential apartments went on sale. (I’m told they have now all been sold “off plan”)

    An initial £100 million will go towards rebuilding the four chimneys and repairs to the brick-work and windows.
    Buro Happold, which has extensive knowledge of the site, is to advise on structural repairs for the property development, which will be managed by Turner & Townsend.
    The Battersea Power Station Development Company will now finalise plans for the interior of the building, for which it has recruited Wilkinson Eyre.


    We decided on a date and time and set off for London, we arrived with the sun still shining and parked up and made our way to our entry point, after a bit of high jump and some CCTV dodging athletics that Team GB would be proud of we made it to A side. After a few glugs of water and quick wipe of sweat we moved off deeper inside. There was a hi vis jacket milling about in the distance that stopped us in our tracks, but then realised it wasn't a threat so cracked on, we had a good look around and with a bit of a ninja's wet dream we made it to the correct level. Another two high vis vests were spotted so we laid low observing until they moved away (not entirely sure who they were, didn't look like your average secca...maybe contractors). We had a mooch about slogging through a blanket of pigeon shit, dead pigeons, nests and eggs and found an opening.

    Control Room A was inviting us in, we walked in with our mouths wide open in awe at the mammoth art deco style room, it was as if the 1920's had just stopped with everyone disappearing leaving only the the control room lost in time. We made good use of the time and light we had coming through the windows and waisted no time capturing this incredible location.

    The light was starting to waiver so we decided to exit before we ended up scaling down the building in the dark which wasn't favourable considering the route we took in.

    I personally am extremely honoured to have experienced this bit of history for myself with Chaos and Evilgenius and given the chance will return to capture the rest.










    9. One last shot just before we left.

    Thanks for looking.
    #1 Nobby, Aug 3, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013

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