THE clock is ticking down to the start of the demolition of Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station, with the four north towers set to be demolished this Sunday, December 3.
Local photographer Eddie Whitham, took a trip down memory lane this week, to take photographs of the iconic towers which he first pictured being built in the 1960s, while local journalist and Warrington Worldwide co-founder David Skentelbery, reflects on the campaign he covered to stop the power station ever being built!
Meanwhile, local Penketh resident Grace Taylor, who only bought the winning ticket a few days before the draw to support Warrington Disability Partnership, will have the honour of pressing the big red button. The charity raffle raised £14,600!
The current plan is for the towers to be demolished on Sunday 3rd December 2023, between 8:00-12:00, however exact timings for the day are subject to change due to operational safety and weather conditions on the day.
Viewing Areas & Online Stream
For safety reasons, there are no plans to have a specific viewing area near the site. However, there is a live stream feed for people to watch. You can watch it by clicking here. Warrington Worldwide is also hoping to provide a Live Facebook stream.
If you wish to watch in person, then we would suggest that locations further away from Fiddler’s Ferry will be best suited for this as there will be an exclusion zone and road closures in place blocking access near the site.
Noise & Dust
Noise is expected to be heard outside of the exclusion zone but will only be for a short period of time. Every effort will be made to reduce the amount of dust generated as part of the works. Post demolition clean-up of the immediate area will be undertaken where required. If you live nearby, the recommendation is that windows are kept closed on Sunday morning and you may wish to consider not putting any washing out.
When the demolition of the towers goes ahead, the A562 will be temporarily closed from the Eight Towers roundabout to Marsh Lane. On South Lane (A5080) there may be a speed limit and other restrictions in place. These temporary restrictions will be in place from 7am on the day and will be lifted shortly after the demolition. Peel NRE and PP O’ Connor are working with local stakeholders to ensure that any disruption is minimised. For full road closure details CLICK HERE
Reflecting on the demolition, local journalist David Skentelbery, who covered the campaign opposing the power station as well as the construction of the facility said: “It seems strange that the demise of Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station should be greeted with sorrow by many local people because when plans to build it were first announced, there was massive opposition locally.
“The plan to build which was then described as Europe’s biggest coal-burning power station was fiercely opposed by Warrington Town Council, St Helens Council, Warrington Rural Council – in whose area the plan was to be built – and just about every parish council.
“It was also opposed by local residents – particularly farmers in the Cuerdley area.
“One farmer, Alan Humphreys, became a councillor to fight the proposals.
“There was even a dispute over how “Fiddler’s” should be spelled – some people said there should only be one “D” in the name.
“One newspaper headline in 1967 said: “This giant is doomed to die in 30 years.”
“Even after it was built, the power station was dogged by controversy.
“In 1984 an investigation was launched when one of the giant cooling towers collapsed – apparently blown down by gale-force winds.
“Even when construction work started, progress was delayed by repeated “wildcat” strikes. Most were not backed by unions – in fact the first strike to be called by a union was the 107th!
“Residents in the Penketh area protested that the value of their houses was being hit because the huge plant rising above Cuerdley Marshes.
“In 1973 it was claimed that big increases in sulphur dioxide pollution in the air around Warrington was caused by the power station.
“It seems that affection for Fiddler’s Ferry only began to show itself when it was announced it was going to be demolished.”
VIDEO of the demolition can be viewed here CLICKING HERE