Tumbled towers


The former power station at Ironbridge has seen its cooling towers demolished today in a series of controlled explosions. Hundreds gathered to see the four towers be blown up at 11:00 GMT. When it opened in 1969, the power station was one of the largest of its kind in the UK, producing enough electricity for the equivalent of about 750,000 homes.
It stopped producing in 2015.

In slow motion

The cooling towers will come crashing down in a few minutes, but it took six years to get it up and running, after construction started in 1963.
Parliamentary approval for the coal-fired power station had been granted the previous year and it was designed to be hidden from sight, as far as possible, within the Ironbridge Gorge.

An older power station, which opened in 1932, already existed on the site and it was eventually decommissioned in the 1980s.
The newer power station, which converted to burning woodchips in 2012, stopped producing electricity in November 2015 and was sold by Uniper to Harworth Group in June 2018.

The cooling towers are the most visible part of Ironbridge power station, but they were just part of the overall site. The building with the tall chimney was the turbine hall and Harworth Group said the site also included a social club with sports pitches, timber pavilion and golf course, previously excavated pits, and waste tips containing ash from the power station. The company said the demolition work was expected to continue into 2021 and the removal of the fuel ash won’t start until March and will take two years to complete.


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