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Report - Huncoat Power Station - September 2012

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Idle Hands, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    The history

    Huncoat is a village on the outskirts of Accrington in Lancashire. There isn’t all that much to it on the surface, but underneath it was a rich coal seam upon which the north was developed during the Industrial Revolution. In the years that followed World War Two the newly nationalised electricity board chose this inconspicuous village adjacent to Padiham Power station, which had been generating electricity from coal since 1926, as the location for a new unit. Huncoat Power Station was duly opened on 11 May 1956 by the Mayor.

    In 1968 the Burnley pit that the area was built and prospered on closed with over a million tonnes of coal abandoned as an uneconomic mining proposition.

    In 1984 after barely three decades of production, the power station itself closed. The cooling towers were demolished on 16 October 1988, with the majority of the buildings coming down in September 1990. It’s unclear why the remaining buildings were left, though it may have been an interim measure if the transformer gear was housed in there, before it was transferred to the newer adjacent buildings.

    In 2004 controversy surrounded Lancashire County Council’s proposal to build a waste management facility on the site, which was by this time owned by Omega Atlantic and had been since 2001. The plans were approved in May 2006 in spite of many local objections. The owner appealed against the compulsory purchase however, an appeal that the government inspector upheld, and in the process nailing shut the coffin lid of LCC’s waste technology park in the process.

    The explore

    Let’s be honest, Huncoat isn’t exactly a challenging explore, but it’s been on the list to see for a while, and since I had a midweek day off work and was in the area, I swung by. Plan A was actually Holding Brothers Pottery but on arrival there was activity in the garden next to it and the public footpath through it didn’t look very public anymore. Being on my own I decided on the easier option!

    Looking back at some of the reports from just a couple of years back, this place has been pikeyed to hell and back. Everything that could have been smashed has been smashed. Everything that could have been stolen has been stolen. Everything that could have been burned has been burned… and when there’s nothing left to burn, bonfires have been built just for the fun of it.

    I guess that's why I've filed this report - from the weather to the graffitti, it's always changing. Here's how it looked on a showery September day in 2012...

    IMG_8799-2.jpg

    This is one of the few 'intact' sections of fencing I saw on the whole site. If you look at older reports you'll note that all the windows have now gone.

    IMG_8807-2.jpg IMG_8811-2.jpg

    The transformer hall is wide open to the elements on all sides... it was in here that I felt eyes on me and a quick spin revealed a figure peering down from the first floor. Turned out to be a photographer doing a model shoot...

    IMG_8880b.jpg

    IMG_8820.jpg

    The stairs looked almost gravity defying but they held my 11 stones without complaint. Note the lack of railings - they have all been removed in recent times.

    IMG_8886.jpg IMG_8816b.jpg

    Nature is trying to take over...

    IMG_8817.jpg

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    The graffitti seems to change pretty regularly. To be honest I've seen more creative, and most of it seems to owe more to rebellion than art. Some of it was pretty colourful though...

    IMG_8823.jpg

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    IMG_8836.jpg

    One of many toilet blocks that remained, albeit smashed up...

    IMG_8831.jpg

    The safe seems to be that last remaining fixure that's actually still in situ - though not for want of trying judging by the missing bricks and the big cut on the top.

    IMG_8835b.jpg IMG_8871.jpg

    IMG_8830.jpg

    Towards the top is the now truncated bridge that would once have led to the other buildings... it now looks out onto the wasteland that remains.

    IMG_8839.jpg

    Up on to the roof...

    IMG_8852.jpg

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    IMG_8883-2.jpg

    IMG_8878-2.jpg IMG_8893.jpg

    IMG_8896.jpg


    And that was that. Another one off the list.

    Thanks for looking! :)​
     

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