Report - Battersea Powerstation, July 2013.

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Staff member
Nov 24, 2008
Battersea Powerstation

"The Cathedral of Electrons"


Battersea has been one of those iconic sites I had been itching to see over the last 5 years, and it wasn't for lack of effort in that time either before we finally managed to see the good stuff

It's one of those sites you always seem to put on a back burner with the intention of 'one day' bothering to take a look

That and all the talk in recent years of it being developed and nothing actually happening has further given reason to further sit on it

Every man and his dog has done this place to death (except us), and work was starting up on site so I decided we really should pull our collective fingers out and go have another crack before it's too late..

I've had the usual run around with security myself on 2 previous visits; they were always keen here, the place could be easily mistaken for Blackpool Illuminations

Making the way into the power station a mission in it's own right

A previous visit with GAJ & BHG ended up with us spending a good chunk of the night in here (finally) after phase one of pulling our fingers out

I'm not ashamed to admit it, but we failed hard on that trip ^ In a nut shell we saw lock stock the fucking lot except the two control rooms haha :banghead

The penultimate visit proved a valuable recce if nothing else and paved the way for the later successful outing

I can laugh now having since returned, but fuck me the place is a maze, made much harder by dead ends, pit's of death, sketch climbs, locked doors and of course security

The only regret I have is not bothering to take pics of much of the internal bits & bobs we saw, however I won't pretend, the place is fucked and I wasn't there for Der-P

(Hand-held running)


A couple of comedy golds that will be well and truly etched in my memory..

When we rocked up on the previous trip, I begun sorting various gear out on the pavement of a quiet street, when a door opened and two blokes emerged having a chat

I didn't pay too much attention initially as I was engrossed in packing kit for 3, but it turned out one of the blokes was once a secca at the power station

As soon as he saw my gear he knew it, chatting away he seemed sound as a pound, even gave us a few tips on 'how to a Power station B'

Another moment was when GAJ & BHG had lost the will to live with 'B' side.. I persisted on and eventually found a potential opening which I was convinced would lead us down to the control room

As GAJ accidentally the door a 50ft drop greeted us, very fortunate he didn't follow through (he possibly did) :D

In the end we made it up 'B' side roof to the top of the NE wash tower/chimney stack, folk were coming to work and it started to piss down so we decided to bail



Greeted by security doing their rounds on the way out across no man's land (to this day we'll never know if they saw us or not), either way half a job done and I was grinning all the way back to Manchester

The following day I checked my pics and they were gash, droplets of unavoidable water on the lens, I now needed to get back ASAP!

Having returned home I scratched my arse a little more having looked again at old threads/pics of the place..

Trying to suss out where feasibly we could access both of the 2 control rooms having previously seen first hand where they are both situated in relation to the rest of the building was no easy task

In 1928, construction started on Battersea Powerstation

The London Power Company hired the famous architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott of Liverpool Cathedral and the red telephone box fame

During the 1920s electricity was supplied to London by smaller companies, however it was decided by parliament in 1925 that the power grid should be a single system

Nationalisation arrived after the war in 1948 with the London Power Company which planned several very large stations for London, the first of which was BPS

Battersea ‘A’ started generating power for the first time in 1933

The huge beautiful red-brick solidity of the power station, along side Halliday’s extraordinary art deco interior, which included bronze doors showing figures representing Power and Energy opening on to a marble turbine hall

- described as 'The Cathedral of Electrons’


>> FFW a couple of weeks and we were back, sans BHG, this time with Adders in tow

'A' side looked to be more of a mission and the harder of the two, but we were very close on the previous trip having since gleaned some snippets from a few people cheers :thumb

Our journey to control room 'A' rapidly became a clusterfuck despite having some intel, in the end we made it in so that's all that matters really




Synchoscope 1933 - 2013









'A' Side Directors Hall




'A' Side Roof




Staff member
Nov 24, 2008

Work started on Battersea ‘B’ soon after the war

By the time it was completed, the UK’s electric supply industry had been nationalised into the hands of the British Electricity Authority which in 1955 became the Central Electricity Generating Board

And finally in 1957 the Central Electricity Generating Board

'B' Side was just as much a farce on the return trip as our previous way up was now locked off.. full credit to GAJ for some late night thinking ;) :D


The real annoyance with 'B' control room for me is I was literally leaning on it the previous visit and it never dawned, for that I hang my head in shame

In my defence, it wasn't that obvious suffering from severe fatigue and a distinct lack of sleep even for a blind man :p:

It wasn't long before we reached where we needed to be and the way in was soon realised








Boiler house

The heart of the power station was once home to six boilers, when in full swing could turn 250,000 lb. of water an hour into steam at a pressure of 615 lb. to the square inch

At their maximum, when the demand was at its peak, they could evaporate 330,000 lb. of water an hour, the temperature of the steam being from 875 degrees to 900 degrees Fahrenheit

The heating surface of the boiler totals 26,580 square feet, the superheater has 10,920 square feet, the economizer 17,826 square feet and the air heater 57,208 square feet

In recent years it has been home to various exhibitions, wait for it.. known as 'The boiler house'


Looking up, those iconic chimney stacks


S.W Chimney




White Room

"A gimmicky show room from a previous prospective development plan"



Phase 1 is now underway on the site, I'm glad to have finally seen this place over a number of visits

I'm sure one day I will return, in the meantime I'll settle for the few pics I took and the great memories, thanks for looking

Shouts to GAJ/BHG/Adders :thumb

Now then.. Where can I order the t-shirt ? :D


Mr Muscle
Regular User
Feb 27, 2012
Awesome report Ojay, and was a pleasure being there for the successful attempt at last. Both times were fun in their own way but your face as you ran into B side saying "They'll have fucking heard that in Chelsea!" was a particular highlight for me :D

Well done mate :thumb


Huddersfield Tourist Information Board
Regular User
Jun 14, 2011
A lot if people say your first time is the most memorable. I reckon it's awkward first time, frustrating the second and maybe by the third time you get to grips with the process.

Love seeing people pop their Battersea cherry!