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Battersea [PICCY HEAVY] October 2013

Timster1973

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Evening all,

I'm sure that its OK to post in here now considering the amount of people that are doing it lately? If not, please move and accept my apologies.

I'll try not to bog down the post with too many photos, as I have a lot more to go and a lot on Flickr. Lots of detail shots in with these.

I decided that I needed to do this, apart from a handful in the UK, I've not done much in this country this year. After help from some fellow explorers (you know who you are) I decided that a day off work was in order and a drive from sunny South Wales to London in the early evening was on the cards. In the meantime, I arranged to meet with Dursty, a fellow member of the OS forum and community who kindly took me to B and we did the roof together. On arriving and making it to the site and negotiating my way to control room A, I spent some time in here and worked pretty quickly for me, swopping between lenses and making the most out of the early part of the explore.

Once Dursty arrived, we did Control Room B and climbed up to the base of the chimneys to get that awesome skyline.

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Some history

Battersea Power Station is a decommissioned coal-fired power station located on the south bank of the River Thames, in Battersea, an inner-city district of South West London. It comprises two individual power stations, built in two stages in the form of a single building. Battersea A Power Station was built in the 1930s, with Battersea B Power Station to its east in the 1950s. The two stations were built to an identical design, providing the well known four-chimney layout.

The station ceased generating electricity in 1983, but over the past 50 years it has become one of the best known landmarks in London and is Grade II* listed. The station's celebrity owes much to numerous cultural appearances, which include a shot in The Beatles' 1965 movie Help!, appearing in the video for the 1982 hit single "Another Thing Comin´" by heavy metal band Judas Priest and being used in the cover art of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals, as well as a cameo appearance in Take That's music video "The Flood."

In addition, a photograph of the plant's control room was used as cover art on Hawkwind's 1977 album Quark, Strangeness and Charm.

The station is the largest brick building in Europe and is notable for its original, lavish Art Deco interior fittings and decor. However, the building's condition has been described as "very bad" by English Heritage and is included in its Buildings at Risk Register. In 2004, while the redevelopment project was stalled, and the building remained derelict, the site was listed on the 2004 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund. The combination of an existing debt burden of some £750 million, the need to make a £200 million contribution to a proposed extension to the London Underground, requirements to fund conservation of the derelict power station shell and the presence of a waste transfer station and cement plant on the river frontage make a commercial development of the site a significant challenge. In December 2011, the latest plans to develop the site collapsed with the debt called in by the creditors. In February 2012, the site was placed on sale on the open property market through commercial estate agent Knight Frank. It has received interest from a variety of overseas consortia, most seeking to demolish or part-demolish the structure.

Built in the early 1930s, this iconic structure, with its four distinctive chimneys, was created to meet the energy demands of the new age. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott – the man who also designed what is now Tate Modern and brought the red telephone box to London – was hired by the London Power Company to create this first of a new generation of ‘superstations’, with the building beginning to produce power for the capital in 1933.

With dimensions of 160 m x 170 m, the roof of the boiler house 50 m tall, and its four 103 m tall, tapering chimneys, it is a truly massive structure. The building in fact comprised two stations – Battersea ‘A’ and Battersea ‘B’, which were conjoined when the identical B section was completed in the 1950s, and it was the world’s most thermally efficient building when it opened.

But Battersea Power Station was – and is – so much more besides. Gilbert Scott lifted it from the prosaic into the sublime by incorporating lavish touches such as the building’s majestic bronze doors and impressive wrought-iron staircase leading to the art deco control room. Here, amongst the controls which are still in situ today, those in charge of London’s electricity supply could enjoy the marble-lined walls and polished parquet flooring. Down in the turbine hall below, meanwhile, the station’s giant walls of polished marble would later prompt observers to liken the building to a Greek temple devoted to energy.

Over the course of its life, Battersea Power Station has been instilled in the public consciousness, not least when Pink Floyd famously adopted it for its Animals album cover and launch in 1977. As a result of its popularity, a great deal of energy has been expended in protecting this landmark.

Following the decommissioning of the ‘A’ station in 1975, the whole structure was listed at Grade II in 1980 before, in 1983, the B station was also closed. Since that time, and following the listing being upgraded to a Grade II* status in 2007, Battersea Power Station has become almost as famous for plans heralding its future as for its past. Until now, that is.

The transformation of Battersea Power Station – this familiar and much-loved silhouette on the London skyline – is set to arrive, along with the regeneration and revitalisation of this forgotten corner of central London. History is about to be made once more.

Getting out in the early hours after a good 5 hours in here and then driving home. Glad I made it to this place to see for myself.

On with some photos.

A side

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B side



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External



Thanks for looking in.

Tim

 

Lara

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Oh my, an amazing set there of the place! Thanks for sharing, superb :)

 

Timster1973

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Ah guys, thanks a lot. I put a lot into my work so its great that you like them :)

 

skeleton key

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Very nice Tim a really cool set of the place.

Some really great shots to be had in this place and good to see you ticked it Off mate

(y)

 

AndyK!

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Some of the best pictures I've seen from here, great to see them all together in one place.

 

seaside_rambler

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That's a beautiful set of shots Tim, it certainly is a place not to miss. Thank you for sharing :)

 

Involuntary Abstinence

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Bloody fantastic set of images!!!! Inspiring and challenging! Hope to get there next week!

Thanks for sharing!

 
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