Take a look back at the demolition of Ferrybridge Power Station, one year on from the big boom

Take a look back at the demolition of Ferrybridge Power Station's cooling towers, a year on from the big boom.

Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 3:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 5:30 pm

And with a bang, they were gone.

After towering over Pontefract for more than 50 years, four of Ferrybridge Power Station's crumbled to the ground, as thousands of local residents watched on.

It comes as owner SSE confirmed plans to sell their stake in the site's new power station for a massive £995m.

After towering over Pontefract for more than 50 years, four of Ferrybridge Power Station's crumbled to the ground, as thousands of local residents watched on.
After towering over Pontefract for more than 50 years, four of Ferrybridge Power Station's crumbled to the ground, as thousands of local residents watched on.

Though in many ways it may have seemed longer, today marks one year since the historic demolition.

To mark the occasion, we're taking a look back at some of our coverage from the big day. Where were you when the towers fell?

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Thousands of people watched the final demolition event at Ferrybridge Power Station this morning.

After towering over Pontefract for more than 50 years, four of Ferrybridge Power Station's crumbled to the ground, as thousands of local residents watched on.

A distant klaxon and a nearby rocket, fired to clear out any remaining birds and wildlife, served as a final warning before the towers, framed against a grey sky, fell into a cloud of brown dust.

More than 300 residents had gathered in the nearby park, a prime viewing location for those who had been evacuated from their homes.

Surrounding the power station, thousands more watched as the towers fell, despite the heavy rain and cool temperatures.

The 375ft towers have stood for over 50 years, and employed thousands of local people.

'And then there were three...' - the demolition secured a front page

Ferrybridge C, as the site is officially known, opened in 1966. It closed in 2016, and demolition work began in December 2018.

There were cheers and gasps as the four towers fell to the ground.

Shelly Thornton, who lives on nearby Pollard's Fields, had been evacuated from her home and secured a prime viewing spot.

She said: "Last time when the single one came down we were watching through the window.

"It was incredibly scary, my hair blew back. When we came downstairs all my pictures were askew on the wall and all my china in my cabinet had sort of juttered round.

"So I spent last night bubble wrapping, the big stuff's on the sofa."

Alfie Rose, 3, watched the demolition of tower six in July, and was excited to see a further four towers go.

Asked what he expected to see, he said: "Bang, they're gone."

Residents were evacuated from their homes from 9am, with hot drinks and food provided in a nearby park, offering a front row seat to the demolition.

Following the so-called big boom shortly after 10.30am, the area was deemed safe, and they were allowed to return to their homes at around 11.15am.

How were the towers prepared for demolition?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

More than 3,000 holes have been drilled into the towers, each of which will be packed with nitroglycerine, an explosive liquid.

They are similar in appearance to old-fashioned sticks of dynamite and are coloured pink.

The demolition has also been planned so that each of the four towers will fall in different directions, avoiding nearby power cables and the remaining towers.

They will be triggered by explosives engineer Dick Green using a handheld device.

A strict no-fly zone will be in place around Ferrybridge while the demolition takes place - and residents have been warned not to fly drones in the area.

Commercial airline pilots will even be warned of the event.

Paul Hook, demolition project manager for SSE, said: “Imagine if you use this as a place marker and suddenly you see it collapsing in front of you.

“The last time we saw a demolition of this scale was Ferrybridge B in the 1990s.”