The Tinsley cooling towers have been one of Sheffield’s best known landmarks for many years. They were once two out of the seven cooling towers at Blackburn Meadows Power Station which was built between 1937 and 1942.

They have been threatened with demolition many times, but always saved by their proximity to the elevated section of the M1. At one point it looked as if the much-loved towers were on the brink of becoming the site of a landmark art project, but the opportunity was allowed to slip neatly away.

This time, barring any delay, their fate was sealed.


Update: 11:00
It didn’t go perfectly, but the main objective of the plan was achieved, the Tinsley Cooling Towers were demolished early this morning to make way for a new biomass power station. It wasn’t quite a textbook demolition – after the 3am explosion part of the north tower remained standing, it held out for about two hours, but it has now collapsed.

They are gone.


Update: 19:00

sentinels no more

Meadowhall RoadThis afternoon we went back to look at the once familiar view. I thought I would be the only person who wanted to take pictures of a tower-less space, but I was wrong. This stretch of Meadowhall Road is normally fairly deserted: no parked cars, no pedestrians. Today there were dozens of cars and probably a couple of hundred people all doing exactly what we were: making a small pilgrimage to see and photograph what was left of the once mighty towers.

In contrast, the M1 was completely deserted, the Tinsley Viaduct was still closed late in the afternoon.

Last remains
The two hollow shells of concrete are all that remains of the Tinsley Cooling Towers
Tinsley Towers 3 Tinsley Towers 3a
Before and After – from Meadowhall Raod, Kimberworth, Rotherham
Tinsley Towers 1 Tinsley Towers 1a
Before and After – from Tyler Street, Wincobank, Sheffield

A fabulous Flickr photoset by Tom and Nadja showing the demolition.
Sheffield blog’s post about the demolition, includes some more videos.
Some very nice pictures here (thanks to chapmanmania, via Twitter.)

See all of my posts about the Tinsley Cooling Towers

3 comments to Boom!

  • I haven’t seen any pictures yet – but I heard on the news it did not exactly go to plan?

  • No, part of the North Tower defiantly remained standing, but it did eventually collapse.

  • Yorkshire Pudding

    Rest in peace Tinsley Towers. Let us hope that the debate and regrets that surrounded their demolition will help to undermine planned future corporate vandalism and inspire more effective campaigns to protect off-beat, quirky parts of our national heritage.