Ironbridge Cooling Towers Spring '17

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prettyvacant71

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Some Ironbridge history…

The Ironbridge power stations (also known as the Buildwas power stations) refers to a series of two power stations which have occupied a site on the banks of the River Severn at Buildwas in Shropshire. The Ironbridge B Power Station was operated by E.ON UK but the site is now owned by Uniper. The station stands near the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, where the Industrial Revolution began...ooOooh yeah proper machinery with greasy parts, clanging wheels, spinning cogs, rotating cam shafts and pistons f00k somebody stop me. Originally powered by coal, they were converted to use 100% biomass fuel. Ironbridge B Power Station stopped generating electricity on 20 November 2015, with the decommissioning process expected to continue into 2017.


Construction of the first Ironbridge Power Station (later to become known as Ironbridge A Power Station) began in 1929, and the first phase was completed in 1932. The station officially opened on 13 October 1932. As a result of the increasing demand for electricity after World War II, it was decided by the Central Electricity Generating Board that a new, larger, 1000 MW power station called Ironbridge B, was to be constructed alongside the A Station. The A station was partially closed on 27 October 1980, with the decommissioning of 100 MW of the station's generating capacity. The remainder of the station's capacity ceased generating electricity in 1981 and significant portions of the station were demolished in 1983 prior to being granted listed building status, that’s very naughty indeed!:confusion:

Construction began in 1963 of Ironbridge B, with the aim to begin generating electricity in the station in 1967. Due to construction delays, some limited industrial action and the implementation of improvements that had been pioneered during the construction of similar stations using the new 500 MW generating units, Ironbridge B didn't begin feeding power into the National Grid until the 11 June 1969 and ceased generating electricity on 20 November 2015 when it reached its 20,000 hours limit of generation under an EU directive, the decommissioning process is expected to continue into 2017.


Project architect Alan Clark worked closely with landscape architect Kenneth Booth, to ensure that the station merged as seamlessly as possible into its natural surroundings. In this respect, the power station is unique amongst British coal-fired stations. When viewed from Ironbridge, the surroundings of the station are hidden by wooded hills. The extremely sexy cooling towers were deliberately constructed using concrete, to which a red pigment had been added, to blend with the colour of the local soil, oh now I do like that, a proper mash up, lap it up. The towers cannot be seen at all from the world-famous landmark, The Iron Bridge. The station's single 205 m (673 ft) high chimney is fifth tallest chimney in the UK. It is the tallest structure in Shropshire.


So impressive were the measures taken to ensure that the power station was an asset to the gorge and not an eyesore, that it was short listed for a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors/The Times conservation award in 1973. [wiki and a bit of me]


After all this thought and consideration has gone into the design and appearance of the Ironbridge site it seems such a cruel fate awaits these gorgeous cooling towers, as demolition is due to start after the completion of the decommissioning phase this year.



So on with a butchers at some lush cooling towers…:highly_amused:


35742729730_72d4f3b11c_b.jpgironbridge 002 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

As I tried to play hide and seek with security (which was like having a gang of Sev’s Michael’s on pharmaceuticals dashing about in pickup’s with the aid of IR cctv I had no chance of getting the shots I wanted) one particular cooling tower decided to play hide and seek with me…I can see you:highly_amused:



35742728080_cef6348409_b.jpgironbridge 017 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

Awww…there you are:witless: It was quite a foggy morning and being in a gorge with the river only a few feet away it made the atmosphere rather damp and heavy, hmmm I like it.



35294516144_c451c190d1_b.jpgironbridge 023 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

You’re just too big to hide…



36135576625_eafc1084a0_b.jpgironbridge 216 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

Nice try:witless:



35964719862_260e2e19c7_b.jpgironbridge 244 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

BOOO!



36135573995_395c8a0995_b.jpgironbridge 258 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

Do you like my hat?



36001230911_025d776fc3_b.jpgironbridge 285 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



36094159886_ea88057fff_b.jpgironbridge 008 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



35964700572_8cc653b033_b.jpgironbridge 419 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



35294515084_926f7383f7_b.jpgironbridge 033 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



35327253433_d22f9ae4b2_b.jpgironbridge 050 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



36094153706_157f006659_b.jpgironbridge 056 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



36001254371_1089563a32_b.jpgironbridge 060 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



35327251403_064c15eb61_b.jpgironbridge 070 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



36094151736_a56a97ff76_b.jpgironbridge 080 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

Pylons feeding from the mothership:loyal: I’ve never seen this before, I doubt I will ever again. It was so quiet I could hear them purring, well it was more of a humming type buzzing sound, like when Frankenstein gets proper charged up:eek: A little bit spooky and surreal, yet I felt like I wanted to go over and hug one:stupid: Then you would of probably heard a deafening crack followed by a massive zap, untold sparks, the roar of hissing and buzzing, shed loads of steam and the stench of pork. Probably a good idea I ignored that thought then.



35327250113_086c56eef0_b.jpgironbridge 087 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



35327249513_4521053c58_b.jpgironbridge 090 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr


36001250501_2a869652ff_b.jpgironbridge 127 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

I want to play hide and seek too:mrgreen:



36094148566_54c13f5d80_b.jpgironbridge 132 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr


35327247603_698a65d9e5_b.jpgironbridge 148 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

I don’t know what I’m lookin at…



35964729272_6301b170ae_b.jpgironbridge 151 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

Udders:confused:



35327246393_64268b4f26_b.jpgironbridge 210 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

You can never have enough pipes…and labeled too:encouragement:




36094144156_de53e0068e_b.jpgironbridge 227 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



35294496594_64f92dfb2f_b.jpgironbridge 241 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



36001239451_4a2768c534_b.jpgironbridge 247 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



36001237971_e308f31021_b.jpgironbridge 250 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

Hello again!



36001235071_0fbd1baba9_b.jpgironbridge 269 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



35294516794_9f5c8ab9ae_b.jpgironbridge 019 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



35294475414_96d9b62222_b.jpgironbridge 297 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

ok you’re creeping me out now…only jokin:witless:



35294513134_a90a9f0f6e_b.jpgironbridge 047 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr


36001254371_1089563a32_b.jpgironbridge 060 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr


36001226781_ab89d69ac0_b.jpgironbridge 307 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

I was in a rush when I took this shot, well trying to hide, so I didn’t have the chance to read any of the various signs by this machine. I liked it but I didn’t know what the hell it was, I do now, hehehe hahaha I’m getting far too excited over this, ok have a guess, go on, don’t be scared…what do you think it is??? It’s not a big deal its just that I’ve never seen one before, it’s shiny and has some pipes so I like it. Don’t tell ‘em DS if you know…



35327239013_26a4891cfd_b.jpgironbridge 310 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

Oh yes so finally back to these magnificent four guys:adoration:



36135570395_2c73430fe1_b.jpgironbridge 320 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

The light was constantly changing as the harsh morning sun burnt through the mist, it made it rather tricky trying to set up a half decent shot and with the added pressure from hearing and seeing sec continuously driving about really didn’t help!



36001221901_155b16fb10_b.jpgironbridge 347 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr


36094136926_6efa633f4d_b.jpgironbridge 357 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

Showing some leg:cool:


35964705172_8d21ce0a4c_b.jpgironbridge 363 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



36094136016_46044bd616_b.jpgironbridge 391 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

Only one of the four cooling towers had these extra pink legs:confused:



35327234653_5597819d32_b.jpgironbridge 413 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr


36094133826_553ef9dc40_b.jpgironbridge 434 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

They come alive in the sunlight:triumphant: Unique to Europe and with the red dye added to complement the local soil, it’s such a shame not even one will be saved:blue:



35964697462_069551cda0_b.jpgironbridge 438 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

Goodbye my four friends. It was such a sweet but short-lived meeting of your wonderful hyperboloid structures with a negative Gaussian curves:applouse:

I feel really quite sad now!

OK pull meself together…thanks for lookin people…

Be lucky, be safe:wink:
 

Brewtal

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Aw you got some sweet shots there! Nicely done, sounds like a great game of cat and mouse too. Lovely pics as always, thanks!
 

odeon master

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great photos, thanks for posting this. Reminds me a lot of our Drakelow powerstation, sadly demolished about 2006, that had pink cooling towers too, i have a chunk of one at home, its pink concrete. Your stainless steel un known machine is a Balkan FSL lamp crusher for safely crushing fluorescent tubes and soduim lamps, you put your lamps in the tall enclosure, turn on the water and lift the crushing handle up and down till your tubes are crushed lol. years since i last used one, but thats what it is
 

prettyvacant71

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great photos, thanks for posting this. Reminds me a lot of our Drakelow powerstation, sadly demolished about 2006, that had pink cooling towers too, i have a chunk of one at home, its pink concrete. Your stainless steel un known machine is a Balkan FSL lamp crusher for safely crushing fluorescent tubes and soduim lamps, you put your lamps in the tall enclosure, turn on the water and lift the crushing handle up and down till your tubes are crushed lol. years since i last used one, but thats what it is

:victorious:WINNER!!!:victorious::excitement: hahaha yes your right!!! A bulb crushing machine:excitement: I thought someone somewhere would know lol! You have a piece of pink concrete too from Drakelow:encouragement:
 

Conrad

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Awesome getting those shots off with the security patrols. Nice work. Never seen a lamp crushed before!
 

Mikeymutt

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That's a great report p.v..i enjoy your reports more than most you make them interesting and funny,and worth reading with your write ups.love hearing your mishaps.funny how we laugh at others mishaps as long as no harm done..i remember driving past this year's ago whilst on a weekend break thinking that's huge and the setting is lovely there and the famous iron bridge up the road is beautiful
 

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