Thorpe Marsh Power Station – Yorkshire

Thorpe Marsh Power Station closed in 1994. Since then it has gradually been demollished. Well, everything except the cooling towers – 6 of them. The are also two biggish buildings (I have no idea what the were for) and several small buildings.

There are various plans for the site – including a nature reserve, and a landfill site (fiercely objected to by local residents). In reality, nothing will probably happen. The towers still survive because it is feared that any explosion caused would rupture the banks of the nearby canal.

Cooling Towers

The power station had six cooling towers. These are 340ft high and have a 260ft diameter at the base.

Somehow someone had written “TIVVY” at the top of one.

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Inside one

Five of the cooling towers were stripped out. But they had an awesome echo. One had a crazy invisible bird in it which kept making (horrid) squarking noises..

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The sixth was “complete” inside. Somehow this cools the hot water to an ambient temperature. I’m not exactly sure how, but Wikipedia knows.

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Railway

There are a couple of sidings at Thorpe Marsh which were last used in 1994.

This building was used to unload coal wagons. They were opened and closed by machines apparently known as “daleks” (the yellow things).

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The coal went into underground bunkers – these are now seriously flooded.

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Pump Room

This was used for pumping water from the cooling towers into the nearby river.

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Other buildings

There was one 5~6 storey high building. Couldn’t get into it so don’t actually know what it was for. It seemed to have some little coal hoppers in or something. And weird pipes on the side.

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Reflections

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Random bits

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Flowers..

..and plants. Something a bit different

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35 Responses to Thorpe Marsh Power Station – Yorkshire

  1. Chris Bell says:

    Nice pictures!
    The “box” things at Thorpe Marsh are in fact the ash and dust silos. Pulverised fuel ash and precip. dust would have been pumped in as a slurry before being removed by lorrys which would have backed in underneath.

  2. Jeff Coles says:

    Good pictures, and a nice record of social history…well done!

  3. Steve Johnson says:

    Those were the days!
    Even as a Manager at large multi nationals I have not found anywhere else I could have a trailer buil;t from scratch in one night shift and drive it home in the morning. Great workmates well remembered.

  4. Gary Yates says:

    The daleks weere operated once the loco had gone past them, they only unlocked the safety catches on the wagons, once empty the loco would detach and return up the other line. The other type of darlek would close the wagon doors and put the safety catches back on. I know because this had been my first job in 1987. Regards.

  5. Kerry Nesbitt says:

    Just for clarity the 5/6 story building was in fact the dry dust silo, the pipes up the side were for pneumatic conveying the dry dust collected from the precips, the dry dust was mixed with water before loading into lorries.
    The coal ground hoppers also filled with coal/water slurry occasionally while the place was open!
    A small note in line with Steve – the quality of wrought iron work was superb boiler tube repairs however left a lot to be desired.
    Best regard to all who worked there.

  6. Dave Turner. says:

    I worked in IMD at Thorpe Marsh from 1964 to 1966. Remember Colln Baker, Mr Lewellyn, Geoff Burgin, Dick Alderton, Chalkey White, and many more. Any pics, please, of the time. I lived in Kirk Sandal.

  7. Matt Robson says:

    Worked at Thorpe marsh from 1966 to 1974.
    Llewellyn, Reg Andrews, Roy Web, Phil Pashley, Bill Gunn. All memories and good ones. Lived in South Africa since 1974.

  8. Tom Bodley says:

    This power station features in the short sci-fi drama series called “The Last Train”.

    It plays host to the “ark” (secret underground bunker for the survivors of the apocalypse).

    Just thought you might like to know. Your pics are excellent, keep up the good work.

  9. Dave Turner. says:

    Hello again,
    it seems so dificult to get any pictures of the plant when it was running. Those huge ICL boilers, and the cross compound Parsons turbine. Does any one remember the night when the charge engineer, because he could not see the drum level falling, caused a huge boiler tube failure. Was there realy a “Reuben Skeland” working there at this time? I seem to remember so!

  10. graham robert wood says:

    When the site is eventually developed, will someone please consider doing the same to the golf course.

  11. Dave Turner. says:

    I am still longing to hear from someone who has pictures of the station inside the boiler or turbine houses, or both. I lived in Kirk Sandall when I worked at the station, in Windermere Road.I learned a lot from a IMD foreman who lived accross from me, mame, Spike Hughes. If any one has pics, please leave a contact adress. Thank’s. Dave Turner. Somerset.

  12. bagredredapp says:

    When my days I was and climb I go back other things things. and climb reaction

  13. luke says:

    climb nto the un gutted tower 🙂

  14. Mark_Morecambe says:

    Great work guys… ‘The Last Train’ was one of the gloomiest TV series i ever saw. apart from the (so much better) 70’s Terry Nation series ‘Survivors’. Love ’em.
    i dabbled a little with UE years ago…. this got me considering a few more explorations. love the Yoiutube bit too.. catch the one where someone is filming away when the damn thing is operating too.. very creepy. great. love to see one in operation, and pop my head through the door.. love to hear it too. always wanted to explore an old gasometer in Clitheroe years ago (it had windows in it!) but they pulled it. take care guys.. hope you find more sites.

  15. frank morley says:

    All you blokes who worked at the station had it easy. Nobody ever thinks of the poor s–s who worked on that lousy, permanently waterlogged site. I seemed to spend half of my life trundling out to the site repairing the 14NTR concrete mixers or cajoling water pumps back into life after they had blocked up with the ash from which the site was constructed.
    The ash/rubble came from Bullcroft tip and was brought to the site in tipper lorries. If you have seen the film ‘Hell Drivers’ you’ve seen it all.
    It’s not surprising that I went to live in Australia after 3 years on ‘The Marsh’
    Bobthesitefitter

    • Gary Lingard says:

      Interested to know more about the oringal build and the area to the west of the current 275 substation. I am involved in extending the substation into this area for the potential new Power Station on the same site. The ground seems to be black ash to about 500 mm then red shale for 1 metre then clay. Where was Bullcroft tip?

      • jason adams says:

        bullcroft spoil tip is in the center of skellow i live yards away from it & when both were running there was a direct line from bulcroft to thorpe marsh, part of the line is used for a walkway but all steel bridges between adwick & thorpe marsh have since been removed & i have seen the work in progress on the carpark nearest the substation & it deffinately looks like the gas fired powerstation is going ahead cos all the carpark has been ripped up, as for the rest of the original powerstation they are planning for its removal, this may be done by dragging it down bit at a time but no one knows when this will take place

    • Joe Milnes says:

      Frank,

      You wouldn’t think that if you had ever been working in the sub basement. Ah, memories.

  16. R Walker says:

    The bird making that sound inside the cooling tower was likely a peregrine falcon – a pair was nesting in one of the towers up to 2008 and successfully raised young….the bird was probably squawking at you to try and scare you away and protect it’s nest. Cracking photo’s by the way 🙂

  17. Alan Rostron says:

    Has anybody got pictures of the turbine rotors. I turned these and would be interested to see them

  18. graham wood says:

    i have noticed the peregrines still nesting at the door like thing at the top of nearest tower to the river don. last time i saw one flying around was just before xmas 2011. so as its only january 2012 not very long ago at all.
    it does concern me that they are going to pull these towers down and we lose some of the most exciting wildlife in the area.

  19. Jay says:

    I passed by only the other day (15/02/2012) to see that 1 of the cooling towers has been brought down. It looks like they’re getting ready to bring another one down aswell – very soon !!

    • Vincent McCoy says:

      None the cooling towers have yet been demolished, (13/03/2012) all 6 still standing, but they are soon to be brought down. Able who own the site are demolishing all accociated buildings. The cooling towers will not be brought down using explosives, it will have a series of small holes broken out all around the base ot the tower it will then have a steel rope threaded through which will be hooked up to 100 tonne earth mover and pulled to the ground.
      This will lessen the impact on the river embankment.

  20. James M says:

    There was definitely 6 towers up when I went exploring today!

  21. Monty Meteor says:

    All six towers are still standing as of Sunday but they have ripped a massive gash in one of them with a huge steel rope so can’t be long now 😦

    • Jay says:

      Thanks for the update on Cooling tower numbers gents. Would appear that I stand corrected – 6 it is. I must have had too many sweet sherry’s that night ! ! Ha ha

  22. Pete Bonsall says:

    My first job in 1960 with GPO telephones was working in a main line gang pulling a 50 pair lead cable down the new road from Bentley to feed the site officers at Thorpe Marsh and later, on maintenance there and saw those cooling towers going up.

  23. Lynda Sambidge ( Dusi) says:

    Me and my brother David and sister Ann grew up in the shadows of the station at almholme and I with my husband ken still own white house farm ,I was only 5 when they started and watched it grow and I would like to have the chance to watch one of the towers fall the view will never be the same once they are gone.

    • graham wood says:

      well down to five towers now as 1 came down on monday 2nd april 2012. can be watched on you tube now. i grew up in barnby dun and still go fishing on the river don in there shadow. must admit i feel a little disapointed that they will all be gone soon.

  24. andyet says:

    Only saw 5 towers standing as of 09/04/12. There was evidence of the base of a tower still remaining, with a mess of broken reinforced steel concrete still there. It appears as if plant machinery is being used to separate the steel from the concrete, as there are piles of each nearby the base of the lowered tower. The floors of each have been largely cleared.

    Since the above (great) photos were taken, some of the buildings and gubbins have been removed. There is one building still remaining, which looks like it was put up in the late 80s/early 90s, but I found little of interest in it’s archtecture, and it’s empty. The pumphouse has gone, but the railway siding remains.

    Unfortunately, it looks like the whole site is being cleared, which is a great pity…..

    • andyet says:

      p.s. If you’re walking near the railway sidings, be careful of the coal bunkers next to the railway lines – if you fall in, I doubt you’d be able to get out alive

      • andyet says:

        ……oh, and watch out for dangers hidden in pain sight – be careful where you walk as there are some small holes on open stretches of flat ground where underground chambers haven`t been totally filled in.

  25. Martin says:

    Today see the end of Thorpe Marsh Power Station. (19.08.2012)
    The last two cooling tower were pulled down this morning.
    The first one around 5.50 am and the second around 6.20 am.
    The site is beaning cleared for a new gas powered power station.
    Thorpe Marsh Power Station. RIP.
    It look strange now, as we have no land mark to guide us home.

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