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Report - Battersea Power Station, London. October 2009


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Just a little late this one, only recently finished sorting the photographs out! Anyway, all these are from three visits during October. I'd been in a couple of times before, but had pretty much failed to see anything good, due mostly to spending ages chasing up what turned out to be a total red herring. Anyway, on with the history, which I'm sure you all know anyway:

Battersea Power Station is a defunct coal fired power station in London. It was built as one of the stations of the newly created London Power Company as part of a scheme to provide a more universal electrical grid, a remedy to the highly fragmented system of the time. Due to the highly controversial location and size of the building, it was decided to obtain a celebrated architect, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, in order for its design to go down better with the public. Construction of station A began in 1929, with the first power being generated in 1933 although it would not be completed until 1935. At this time, the power station consisted only of two chimneys, and corrugated iron covered the Eastern wall until the construction of station B began. With the outbreak of the second world war, this would be put off until around 1946, with B station slowly coming into operation between 1953 and 1955, bringing the station's capacity up from 243 to 503 megawatts.

Over the following years, power generation shifted away from coal-burning, and coupled with the aging machinery and increased operating costs, station A ceased production of electricity in 1975. As rumours began to emerge that station B would also close, the building was declared a grade II listed building. Station B ceased production of electricity in 1983. The Central Electricity Generating Board's original desire to demolish the station and sell the land off for housing was prevented by its listed status, and a competition was held in the same year to decide what was to be done with the building. The competition was won by a consortium of companies, including Alton Towers LTD, based on their idea of an indoor theme park celebrating British industrial heritage. Planning permission was granted in 1986, and conversion work began the following year. However, after the removal of the entire roof of the main turbine hall and all boilers, lack of funding caused the project - which had reduced the building to an empty shell - to halt in 1989. Since then, despite successive failed plans, normally based around combinations of housing, shopping and entertainment provisions, the building has lain derelict with no significant work taking place on the site since. Its future is as yet uncertain.



Annexe A:






Control room A:







Another one of the main turbine hall. Too dark really, but I just love that sky:


Station B:





As my luck would have it, we chose a day when they were filming a music video there. That complicated things somewhat...


Control room B:







I just love this one... "Raise volts"


And a parting shot of the station. Might have gone a bit overboard on the wide-angle here...

There are a few more pictures over on Flickr. Hope you've enjoyed it.
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