Author Topic: More cooling towers come down!  (Read 1125 times)

Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2020, 03:57:15 pm »
Remember the beginning of "Get Carter"?  You can tell he's going up north because of all the cooling towers (the cynic in me thought they were there because they were too ugly for the South East but, of course, they were mostly built near coalfields to avoid hauling the coal too far*; Drax and the Selby mine, for instance).

*merry-go-round trains are quite cool
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2020, 05:11:36 pm »
Early power stations were built near point of use because it was easier to move coal than create a national grid. Initially the ideological commitment to free enterprise meant the UK had a patchwork of generators each failing to cooperate with the others. One other consequence was that the UK fell far behind its peers in providing domestic supplies. The industry was eventually nationalised just in time to catch up before Ww2. Power stations were then built near coalfields.

Apparently Scunthorpe is now league leader for pollution due to steel production.
Sic transit and all that..

Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2020, 08:25:06 pm »
I forgot there was one at Sandwich for many years and it was only taken down recently.  The substation land is being used for one of the European interconnectors.

Three, in fact. Anna chimney. And it was Richborough, rather than Sandwich - the devil's in the detail  ;).
Little known fact:
Watling Street starts from (what are now the ruins of) Richborough castle.
I shot some footage of the demolition of those as part of my Boom! Boom! Boom! ride, back in 2012
MOV04356 by jurekb, on Flickr

More recently, and closer to home, these were dismantled recently:
https://tinyurl.com/y7xz2wqb

Which is a shame, because they looked splendid against a background of a sunlit, azure blue sky


Cheers.  I remember it being near Sandwich from the Audaxes that went that way.

Can’t see your link but is that the demolition of Littlebrook ?

ETA - sorry can see it now.   

Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2020, 08:38:31 pm »
Remember the beginning of "Get Carter"?  You can tell he's going up north because of all the cooling towers (the cynic in me thought they were there because they were too ugly for the South East but, of course, they were mostly built near coalfields to avoid hauling the coal too far*; Drax and the Selby mine, for instance).

*merry-go-round trains are quite cool

I spent quite a lot of time at Eggborough.  They referred to Drax as Eggborough B.  I was there when trains came in and the process is all but automated.   Just one bloke and each container opens as the train passes through and the coal drops into the hopper.  The more volatile coal had to be turned over to stop it from combusting.  There was something really agricultural about the technology.

I went to school in Immingham for a while.  It was less about cooling towers there but there were miles of holder stations around the refineries.

Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2020, 09:05:18 pm »
The actual combustion of coal in these plants is far from agricultural.  Pulverised, blown into the furnace with air pressure and burns a bit like a huge gas flame. Sometimes the boilers are supercritical, which basically means the temperature and pressure are so high that what's produced is neither a gas (steam) or a liquid, but in between.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2020, 09:32:00 pm »
The actual combustion of coal in these plants is far from agricultural.  Pulverised, blown into the furnace with air pressure and burns a bit like a huge gas flame. Sometimes the boilers are supercritical, which basically means the temperature and pressure are so high that what's produced is neither a gas (steam) or a liquid, but in between.

Yes.  The moving around of the coal is the bit I was referring to and maybe agricultural is the wrong word.  Every surface in the whole station was covered in coal dust.   Even fully PPEd up my shirt cuffs always ended up filthy.

Tube leaks were a major problem as the steam blew the tubes.   There were a lot of injuries over the years.  It could also take most of a day for it to cool down enough for the welders to get in.

The rubber gloves used on site used to melt when the lads leant on the surfaces around the station so you would see odd yellow gloves stuck randomly around the site.

Having worked in power trading for years looking after that contract was an eye opener as I hadn’t even been to a power station before.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2020, 09:39:06 pm »
My dad was an infrastructure fan so I visited operational coal power stations, inside working draglines and drove a triple-headed coal train (with triple helper units mid-train) as a pre-teen. Kids nowadays miss out on that sort of industrial indoctrination.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2020, 10:17:22 pm »
My dad was an infrastructure fan so I visited operational coal power stations, inside working draglines and drove a triple-headed coal train (with triple helper units mid-train) as a pre-teen. Kids nowadays miss out on that sort of industrial indoctrination.

My early days in shipping they used to ask us to go down in the holds of ships and load stuff onto pallets so it could be craned out.  Sometimes it was oranges and raisins, other times it was frozen meat - we got special clothing for frozen meat; we needed beekeepers kit for the fruit but we didn't get it, never seen so many wasps in one place.  Before that I was a timekeeper in the port workshops. We had shipwrights, blacksmiths, coppersmiths, sailmakers, fitters, boilermakers, electricians and laggers. Anything you might want fixed they could fix it and also get extra strength duty-free lager off the ships.  I spotted the workshop manager with a case of whisky once under his raincoat except I happened to be looking the wrong way so maybe I was mistaken.
Sic transit and all that..

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2020, 11:08:19 am »
On a similar theme, gasometers. Or perhaps we should call them gas holders more correctly. They used to be a fairly common sight but now there are few left. Most of them are not exactly pretty, but their appeal in terms of industrial purposefulness is comparable to cooling towers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-16903510
It seems someone appreciates them even in a setting usually associated with Jane Austen-ism. Didn't do any good though.
https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/baths-last-gasometer-set-dismantled-52278/
I think that's one of the two by Midland Road.
Yep: https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/baths-last-gasometer-set-dismantled-52278/

I liked the gas holders, they were often fabulous bits of Victoriana. There used to be a couple by the A22, one disappeared a while back, the other has just gone (literally, we walked past the other week and it's now a big hole). And there was one in the middle of Oxted that has recently been demolished to make room for the usual flats.
!nataS pihsroW

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2020, 11:15:54 am »
My dad was an infrastructure fan so I visited operational coal power stations, inside working draglines and drove a triple-headed coal train (with triple helper units mid-train) as a pre-teen. Kids nowadays miss out on that sort of industrial indoctrination.
So that's six locos in total? How long was the whole train? I guess it must have been a couple of km?
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2020, 11:48:37 am »
On a similar theme, gasometers. Or perhaps we should call them gas holders more correctly. They used to be a fairly common sight but now there are few left. Most of them are not exactly pretty, but their appeal in terms of industrial purposefulness is comparable to cooling towers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-16903510
It seems someone appreciates them even in a setting usually associated with Jane Austen-ism. Didn't do any good though.
https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/baths-last-gasometer-set-dismantled-52278/
I think that's one of the two by Midland Road.
Yep: https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/baths-last-gasometer-set-dismantled-52278/

I liked the gas holders, they were often fabulous bits of Victoriana. There used to be a couple by the A22, one disappeared a while back, the other has just gone (literally, we walked past the other week and it's now a big hole). And there was one in the middle of Oxted that has recently been demolished to make room for the usual flats.

Some have been repurposed.

https://gasholderslondon.co.uk

I believe the land under a gas holder is pretty grim - all those years of pressurised gas on top mean a lot of contamination.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2020, 11:53:50 am »
My dad was an infrastructure fan so I visited operational coal power stations, inside working draglines and drove a triple-headed coal train (with triple helper units mid-train) as a pre-teen. Kids nowadays miss out on that sort of industrial indoctrination.
So that's six locos in total? How long was the whole train? I guess it must have been a couple of km?

From memory,  over 1.5km long. They were the longest 3'6" gauge trains in the world at the time, empty uphill and loaded down to the port of course. There were heavier 3'6" trains hauling iron ore in South Africa but fewer wagons. I see that coal line has been electrified since dad and I hitched a cab ride.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2020, 11:53:55 am »
Taken from the BBC article,

Quote
The Bath Preservation Trust said the gasometer was not one of the reasons Bath was a World Heritage Site.

There is a real problem with failing to save our industrial, and brutalistic heritage buildings in this country because people think well they aren't as pretty as a georgian townhouse so knock it down, we'll end up with nothing left marking that period if we are not careful.

D.
Somewhat of a professional tea drinker.


Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2020, 01:05:22 pm »
My dad was an infrastructure fan so I visited operational coal power stations, inside working draglines and drove a triple-headed coal train (with triple helper units mid-train) as a pre-teen. Kids nowadays miss out on that sort of industrial indoctrination.
So that's six locos in total? How long was the whole train? I guess it must have been a couple of km?

From memory,  over 1.5km long. They were the longest 3'6" gauge trains in the world at the time, empty uphill and loaded down to the port of course. There were heavier 3'6" trains hauling iron ore in South Africa but fewer wagons. I see that coal line has been electrified since dad and I hitched a cab ride.
I really hadn't expected 3'6" gauge! Makes it all the more impressive.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2020, 01:06:57 pm »
Taken from the BBC article,

Quote
The Bath Preservation Trust said the gasometer was not one of the reasons Bath was a World Heritage Site.

There is a real problem with failing to save our industrial, and brutalistic heritage buildings in this country because people think well they aren't as pretty as a georgian townhouse so knock it down, we'll end up with nothing left marking that period if we are not careful.

D.
Slightly hypocritical as there are various plaques and museums marking Bath's industrial heritage (Sothert & Pitt, quarrying, canal, Rotork – oh, that's not a museum, that's still running... )
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2020, 01:25:10 pm »
I really hadn't expected 3'6" gauge! Makes it all the more impressive.

Australia had the second ever 3'6" gauge railway in the world, after Sweden. Stephenson needed to design a railway that could cope with tighter radii curves for hilly routes using not much money. He did a 75% version of standard gauge. The Australian loading gauge for 3'6" track is about the same loading gauge as British standard gauge, so the maximum speed is lower but the capacity is much the same.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2020, 01:35:28 pm »
Interesting. In a geeky sort of way! :D
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2020, 02:01:57 pm »
On a similar theme, gasometers. Or perhaps we should call them gas holders more correctly. They used to be a fairly common sight but now there are few left. Most of them are not exactly pretty, but their appeal in terms of industrial purposefulness is comparable to cooling towers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-16903510
It seems someone appreciates them even in a setting usually associated with Jane Austen-ism. Didn't do any good though.
https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/baths-last-gasometer-set-dismantled-52278/
I think that's one of the two by Midland Road.
Yep: https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/baths-last-gasometer-set-dismantled-52278/

I liked the gas holders, they were often fabulous bits of Victoriana. There used to be a couple by the A22, one disappeared a while back, the other has just gone (literally, we walked past the other week and it's now a big hole). And there was one in the middle of Oxted that has recently been demolished to make room for the usual flats.

Some have been repurposed.

https://gasholderslondon.co.uk

I believe the land under a gas holder is pretty grim - all those years of pressurised gas on top mean a lot of contamination.
The current location of the ones at Kings Cross isn't the same as when they were holding gas. Previously, they were situated to the south of the canal. They've since been relocated to north of the canal.


Kings Cross 1945

Kings Cross 2020 

The big deal for the government acquiring the land on which to build The Dome, was that they got a huge swathe of land (The Greenwich Peninsula) cleaned up of the contamination as a result of the gas works which were there previously, on the back of the cost of The Dome.

Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2020, 02:29:26 pm »
On a similar theme, gasometers. Or perhaps we should call them gas holders more correctly. They used to be a fairly common sight but now there are few left. Most of them are not exactly pretty, but their appeal in terms of industrial purposefulness is comparable to cooling towers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-16903510
It seems someone appreciates them even in a setting usually associated with Jane Austen-ism. Didn't do any good though.
https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/baths-last-gasometer-set-dismantled-52278/
I think that's one of the two by Midland Road.
Yep: https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/baths-last-gasometer-set-dismantled-52278/

I liked the gas holders, they were often fabulous bits of Victoriana. There used to be a couple by the A22, one disappeared a while back, the other has just gone (literally, we walked past the other week and it's now a big hole). And there was one in the middle of Oxted that has recently been demolished to make room for the usual flats.

Some have been repurposed.

https://gasholderslondon.co.uk

I believe the land under a gas holder is pretty grim - all those years of pressurised gas on top mean a lot of contamination.

It was the way gas, aka 'Town gas', was made before North Sea gas came on shore. From coal, producing lots of tarry waste. Often this was just buried and at first left where it was. Unfortunate people who bought houses on the reclaimed land got a nasty shock.

Now it all has to be decontaminated before the land can be reused.

North Sea gas is 'clean'.
Sic transit and all that..

andytheflyer

  • Andytheex-flyer.....
Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #44 on: May 19, 2020, 08:28:13 am »
I believe the land under a gas holder is pretty grim - all those years of pressurised gas on top mean a lot of contamination.
The company I used to work for before I retired had a team of engineers, geologists., chemists etc working full time for several years  for National Grid investigating and cleaning up gasworks and gasholder sites.  The gasholders were particularly grimy, lots of tars and fairly toxic liquids swimming about in the brick base containment.  It was a huge job for several years, but I think they've now worked through most of the contaminated sites.  When they started the cleanup the science was fairly basic, but it got very complex towards the end in order to minimise cost and environmental impact, with a lot of remediation being carried out on site by soil washing and using bacteria to munch their way through the extracted organics.  The process took many months but it prevented a lot of material going to landfill.

Re: More cooling towers come down!
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2020, 10:33:19 am »
There are two types of gasholder in the UK: water-seal, which are the big telescoping drums we're talking about above, and tar-seal, which are corrugated towers that don't change size.  In the natural gas period, they were used to meet short-term local supply needs, such as first thing in the morning when everyone's heating fires up or factories start work.

They have largely been replaced by line-packing, which stores gas ready for tomorrow's surge by simply increasing the pressure in the main pipelines.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.