LETTER: Demolition of Ferrybridge Power Station - 'A twinge of sadness' at the demise of monumental cooling towers

"It was with a twinge of sadness that I saw the further stage of demolition of Ferrybridge power station last weekend.
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"Recently we've seen Eggborough, Didcot (Oxfordshire), Ironbridge (Shropshire) and Rugeley B (Staffordshire) all disappear from the English landscape. These mighty cooling towers have been a monumental feature of the British landscape for half a century.

"Seeing these iconic structures in different light and various times of the year as we drove past became part of our experience. It was also a reminder sometimes that we were near home!

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"Fifteen years ago there was discussion of preserving the 2 cooling towers at Tinsley (Sheffield). It seemed a distinct possibility because demolition would have been tricky, their being so near the M1 motorway. Sadly, not to be. The German artist Anselm Kiefer considered turning a decommissioned nuclear power station on the Rhine into a vast work of art. Would have been interesting!

The towers were demolished yesterday (picture Simon Hulme)The towers were demolished yesterday (picture Simon Hulme)
The towers were demolished yesterday (picture Simon Hulme)

"I remember a teacher at a school where I worked (it was a session on environmental issues) saying how when he drove along the M62, he could see all the 'polluting smoke' emerging from the power stations along that route. Sorry, my friend, actually, it was not smoke-it was steam! So much for enlightened education!

"It would be good to think that we could preserve at least one iconic cooling tower, but I fear they are as doomed as the woolly mammoth.

"I think quite a few of us will miss them. "

John Roberts


VIDEO TAKEN BY: Martin Elsey