Ironbridge Cooling Towers ~ And Then They Were Gone


This shot of the Ironbridge Power Station cooling towers was taken last Friday lunchtime. And here’s what happened to them this Friday morning:



Thanks for this clip to ‘Charlie the Cat on You Tube. See also

66 thoughts on “Ironbridge Cooling Towers ~ And Then They Were Gone

      1. Still raining down here! Was out in my Wellies this morning. Felt like like a kid splashing around the veggie patch.
        The garden is smiling.

    1. Not many houses nearby for these to spoil the view Jo as they are were in the Severn Gorge and quite an iconic sight from several parts of Shropshire including the Wrekin and the Stipperstones. Such a shame these pink towers couldn’t have been incorporated into the Ironbridge museums and developed as a nature reserve and park. As for houses, that’s insane right next to a river that floods!

    2. Not a fan of them either, generally speaking, but these particular ones were such a presence in the Gorge. They were brilliant when they were lit up at night during the bicentenary of the Iron Bridge back in ’79.

  1. Weirdly compelling to watch, but since you had mentioned new housing development being built on the site (one of my pet peeves), I just feel rather sad and cross.

    1. Yes, 1000 houses plus business park. But then it’s apparently going to take years to clear the site – the debris, the polluted ground, and also monumental amounts gravel from the quarry there since it is apparently a strategic reserve and can’t be lost under houses!!! The whole thing simply seems wrong. It’s in a geographical cul de sac and there’s no need for houses there. Just up the road is Telford new town (with fully equipped infrastructure) where thousands of new houses are going up on reclaimed land. Unfortunately the new town and environs is a separate local authority even though it’s in Shropshire. On our side of the LA border, Shropshire Council is desperate for development and its associated income from council tax.

    1. Oh I agree, but wiser decisions about future use could perhaps have been made, and especially given the fact that the River Severn floods on a regualar basis. The Gorge is a World Heritage Site after all, a resort for local, national and international tourism. And the site itself is very very polluted, although I gather that there are some interesting wildlife pockets within it where there are (most unusually for the UK) fireflies.

  2. I’m intrigued. Is this a decommissioned coal fired power plant? Is your community going green? Where is your power to come from now? I hope it’s not nuclear but then you’d still need the cooling towers.
    As for the aesthetic – I lived in sight of cooling towers for years. They are strangely beautiful but kind of menancinng too – very symbolic of the age of fossil fuel burning.

    1. Yes, this is a decommissioned coal-wood chip fired power plant. And to be honest I don’t know exactly where our power is coming from now. Quite a lot of it must be from renewables – wind and solar. There are no plans for nuclear in this part of the country (as far as I know). But like you I found the towers very striking, and yes, a sense of menace about them too.

      1. How good that a lot of your powercomes from renewables. We need that kind of forward thinking over here.

    1. I think most of us were rather they had stayed and the site included in the neighbouring public park, the existing footpath network in the hanging woodland of the Benthall Edge behind. But I guess managing decommissioned cooling towers would bring its own problems (and costs).

      1. Well it seems the private developers expect to fill their pockets. As for our local councillors, all is supposed to be ‘transparent’ and ‘above board’. But who knows!

      2. After many years of seeing Europe as a… haven of no-corruption, while I live in one of the most corrupt countries of the world, I now have my doubts. I think corruption in our countries, UK, France, etc. takes a more covert form but is still there. Favours are exchanged against future favours. A mayor signs a construction permit in exchange of a new, public swimming pool, to be used as a benefit for constituents… Hiring local “public servants” in the county staff, helps getting more votes, etc.
        Otherwise why would all politicians fight so hard to get what really is a sh..ty job? Bad pay, nobody’s ever happy? There have to be compensations… under the table

      3. I agree about corruption. In the UK it’s so part of the elite system it is invisible to most of the population, who have no sense of the scale of lobbying that goes on as a matter of course. According to last autumn’s report from the UN rapporteur on human rights and poverty, 14 million UK citizens are living in poverty – and we’re one of the world’s richest countries. We bleat a narrative about Russian interference, yet the Brits, French and Americans practically wiped Libya off the map but that’s OK because it’s us. Craig Murray our ex-ambassador to Uzbekistan (sacked for whistle blowing on human rights abuses there) describes the UK as a rogue state.

      4. Yes, corruption is well hidden. It was you I think who posted or reblogged something about Theresa May(be)’s husband making a bundle every time a Martin-Marietta missile hit Syria.
        Poverty? Same goes in France. How can you live on 1600 Euros a month? That’s the median salary…
        Rogue state? Wait till Boris Judas Johnson transforms London into Macao… (Sigh)

      1. I think the Severn beats it on length -354 km. It also rises in the Welsh uplands which is one of the reasons why it carries so much water and floods so regularly. There are flood protection schemes in the worst affected areas, and the water board also, to some extent, can control the amount of water coming down from Wales so the floods are no longer as horrendous as they were in my childhood. I wouldn’t want to live near it anyway. Some people have simply redesigned their homes to accommodate a flood.

      2. Redesign? 😦 Many areas in France that were traditionally flooded have been “relabelled” as fit for building. More land development. And flooding of houses… Sigh

  3. That was amazing to see! Wow! I think it’s enormously clever the way they can get structures to collapse in on themselves like that. (And makes me thing the twin towers were an inside job). It reminded me of the time they “imploded” the old hospital in Canberra, and people were encouraged to come watch form across the lake. Anyway they didn’t do it properly and pieces flew everywhere killing a child who was watching with her family. Huge scandal of course with finger pointing all over the place. Glad your towers fell so obediently.

    1. They did fall obediently didn’t they. Your account of the Canberra demolitions is horrendous though. And re twin towers, I believe the Lawyers’ Committee has been contending much as you suggest with a considerable stack of evidence.

    1. There’s a lovely vid on youtube of a woman playing her violin inside one of the Ironbridge towers. Rather mesmerizing. Makes you think what an interesting performance space it could have been.

  4. They just have to destroy things, don’t they? 😦 … off the top of my head I can think of half a dozen uses for those towers, that wouldn’t involve blowing them up. Greedy bloody idiots.

    1. I know what you mean about the sense of menace, but when we used to be able to get fairly close to them, just across the river , there was a grandeur too. And the play of light on them in different season was quite fascinating too.

  5. like others here – I remember the towers from some of your posts and wow – that footage of seeing them fall – all at once – was moving. Had mixed feelings – and glad you got a photo the night before.
    Hope something nice goes there

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