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Dramatic footage shows cooling towers at the historic Ironbridge Power Station being demolished

Video Credit: SWNS STUDIO - Duration: 02:10s - Published < > Embed
Dramatic footage shows cooling towers at the historic Ironbridge Power Station being demolished

Dramatic footage shows cooling towers at the historic Ironbridge Power Station being demolished

Hundreds of people travelled to the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution to watch the iconic cooling towers at Ironbridge Power Station get demolished.

The four 400ft high towers collapsed in just four seconds in a cloud of dust at 11am on Friday (6/12).

The power station helped to provide the UK with energy for 46 years and became an imposing feature at the heart of Ironbridge Gorge.

Crowds of people turned up in Shropshire to watch the towers come down while millions of internet users watched the demolition which was live-streamed online.

Former Ironbridge Power Station worker Andy Holden, of Shrewsbury, was invited to watch the demolition but declined.

He said: "I spent nearly 40 years maintaining the place, running the place, looking after it, doing my job as best that I could.

I don't want to be part of the demolition.

"The power station has been part of my life, it was nearly 40 years.

It's helped me raise my children, it's helped me pay off my mortgage and it's gone now and I do miss the place, I miss the camaraderie and the work." His former colleague Trevor Childs, from nearby Much Wenlock, added: "They looked nice, they blended in, but they were part of a power station, the cooling towers.

"The problem is, to keep them would have cost an absolute fortune." Ironbridge finally closed in 2015 and the 350-acre site was bought by developers Harworth Group plc to build 1,000 new homes.

The demolition of the towers, numbered 1 to 4, has cost £10million and taken five months to prepare.

Operations manager Shaun Hockley said: "There's a hell of a lot of prep work before these actually came down to ground level.

"We've been working on the project regarding drilling the towers and preparing the towers for approximately five months.

"The project overall should take in the region of about 12 years to complete.

"From doing the demolition work to the housing development and industrial units so it's a large project." Ironbridge burnt coal for most of its operating life before being converted to run on biomass in 2012 in order to qualify for renewable subsidies.

It was forced to close under the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive, which required polluting plants to install emissions abatement equipment to tackle acid rain.

Those that failed to do so - such as Ironbridge, which decided it was not be economically viable - had to shut.

The towers were built from concrete, but a red and pink pigment was added to help them blend in with the colour of the local soil.

The original power station, known as Ironbridge 'A', opened in 1932 and generated 200-megawatts of electricity.

To meet rising demand following World War Two, a second power station, Ironbridge 'B', was built and in June 1969, generated 1,000-megawatts of electricity.

The demise of the power station began in 2012 when it underwent modification to allow both generating units to run on biomass after pollution concerns.

It reduced the generating capacity from 500-megawatts per unit to around 370-megawatts each.

Two years later in February 2014 a serious fire damaged a turbine and generator and its owners decided not to have it repaired.

The demolition came after its owners, energy company E.On, made the decision to close the power station, which stopped generating electricity in November 2015.

The cooling towers will make way for a major housing development of 1,000 new homes, as well as leisure facilities, a new school and industrial units.

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Dramatic footage shows cooling towers at the historic Ironbridge Power Station being demolished

Hundreds of people travelled to the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution to watch the iconic cooling towers at Ironbridge Power Station get demolished.

The four 400ft high towers collapsed in just four seconds in a cloud of dust at 11am on Friday (6/12).

The power station helped to provide the UK with energy for 46 years and became an imposing feature at the heart of Ironbridge Gorge.

Crowds of people turned up in Shropshire to watch the towers come down while millions of internet users watched the demolition which was live-streamed online.

Former Ironbridge Power Station worker Andy Holden, of Shrewsbury, was invited to watch the demolition but declined.

He said: "I spent nearly 40 years maintaining the place, running the place, looking after it, doing my job as best that I could.

I don't want to be part of the demolition.

"The power station has been part of my life, it was nearly 40 years.

It's helped me raise my children, it's helped me pay off my mortgage and it's gone now and I do miss the place, I miss the camaraderie and the work." His former colleague Trevor Childs, from nearby Much Wenlock, added: "They looked nice, they blended in, but they were part of a power station, the cooling towers.

"The problem is, to keep them would have cost an absolute fortune." Ironbridge finally closed in 2015 and the 350-acre site was bought by developers Harworth Group plc to build 1,000 new homes.

The demolition of the towers, numbered 1 to 4, has cost £10million and taken five months to prepare.

Operations manager Shaun Hockley said: "There's a hell of a lot of prep work before these actually came down to ground level.

"We've been working on the project regarding drilling the towers and preparing the towers for approximately five months.

"The project overall should take in the region of about 12 years to complete.

"From doing the demolition work to the housing development and industrial units so it's a large project." Ironbridge burnt coal for most of its operating life before being converted to run on biomass in 2012 in order to qualify for renewable subsidies.

It was forced to close under the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive, which required polluting plants to install emissions abatement equipment to tackle acid rain.

Those that failed to do so - such as Ironbridge, which decided it was not be economically viable - had to shut.

The towers were built from concrete, but a red and pink pigment was added to help them blend in with the colour of the local soil.

The original power station, known as Ironbridge 'A', opened in 1932 and generated 200-megawatts of electricity.

To meet rising demand following World War Two, a second power station, Ironbridge 'B', was built and in June 1969, generated 1,000-megawatts of electricity.

The demise of the power station began in 2012 when it underwent modification to allow both generating units to run on biomass after pollution concerns.

It reduced the generating capacity from 500-megawatts per unit to around 370-megawatts each.

Two years later in February 2014 a serious fire damaged a turbine and generator and its owners decided not to have it repaired.

The demolition came after its owners, energy company E.On, made the decision to close the power station, which stopped generating electricity in November 2015.

The cooling towers will make way for a major housing development of 1,000 new homes, as well as leisure facilities, a new school and industrial units.




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