A few years back, I spent some time working on secondment in the east of the country, and on my drive home, I’d pass various different sets of cooling towers, some abandoned, some active, and yet they all fascinated me. These huge egg cups can be seen from miles around in the flat countryside that the A1 passes through, and I decided that at some stage I’d like a closer look at one. Unfortunately, all the power stations in the North West (bar one – Fiddlers Ferry) have been demolished, so the opportunities were somewhat limited. I then become aware through the urbex community that Thorpe Marsh was accessible, so it’s been at on my to-do list for ages, but I’d not been able to find the time to have a look.
Suddenly though, I found myself passing through the area en route to somewhere else, so, not wishing to let this opportunity slip by, I took a slight detour. As I approached through the pretty villages to the south of Doncaster, these huge concrete edifices dominated the skyline of the rural landscape. And then there I was, sat at the low, rusty main gates of the site, looking over the decimated scene of a long demolished power station. Just as I got out of the car to take a photo though, a Transit van came tearing down one of the site roads and pulled up at the gate. A National Grid employee got out – dammit! Rumbled before I even got on site! Actually, no, the guy unlocked the gate, drove the van out, re-locked the gate and drove off. (National Grid still own the site and have a large transformer farm and depot on the opposite side of the site to the cooling towers.)
After a few snaps from the gate, I had a wander round and found myself at the foot of one of the huge towers. I’ve never been that close to one before, and they really are impressively big close up. Alas, the high winds on the day made not only photography difficult, but actually walking around possibly due to the turbulence caused by their shapes. That, combined with the fact that I was not exactly dressed for exploring, and the fact that I needed to get back on the road, meant I only had time for a brief mooch and a few snaps. A pity, as I could easily spend a couple of hours looking round., but definitely one to take another look at before they decide to demolish them.