Even Storm Ciara couldn’t stop the demolition of Didcot A Power Station chimney. And, as I’d watched the towers come down previously, there was no way I was going to miss the last blowdown either!
I’d taken a punt that it wouldn’t happen right at the start of the designated time period and arrived at my chosen spot (Foxhall Road roundabout) around 7.20am.
Compared to the previous summer demolitions there were far fewer spectators for the blow down of the final chimney. Perhaps something to do with the stormy weather. Or maybe because the height of the chimney meant it was visible from people’s homes.
That said, my favourites were always the huge cooling towers and perhaps a solitary chimney just didn’t have the same appeal. Either way there were still enough of us to generate a frisson of excitement at the imminent explosion.
I didn’t hear the warning siren but at 7.30am there was the telltale flash of explosives, followed by a large boom. The tower appeared to fall directly down on itself to be replaced, a few seconds later, by a large dust cloud. The chimney was down. Perhaps not as exciting as the demolition of the cooling towers but good to watch. No power cut this time either!
There are some good videos of the demolition on YouTube, including this one.
I didn’t hang around after the blowdown. Everyone headed back to their homes, heads down against the wind. Maybe hopeful of returning to bed for an hour or two!
Interesting that my teens, a mile away in bed, never heard or felt a thing but a friend in Cowley heard the boom and others felt their house shake. Although that probably says more about teenagers than anything else.
What next for Didcot Power Station site?
Outline planning permission to redevelop the site has already been submitted. In the next few years up to 400 houses, offices and light industrial units and a 150 bed hotel and will replace the power station. There will also be a new link road and a Science Bridge.
It’s hard to imagine what this will look like. But it’s time to move on. Goodbye Didcot A Power Station!