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Battersea Power Station - The Family Visit - October 2013
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  1. #1
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    Arrow Battersea Power Station - The Family Visit - October 2013


    Some 83 years ago my Great Great Uncle was approached by the London Power Company in regards to making a new London power station more appealing to the surrounding community after proposals for the site brought out local protests in fear the site would be too large and a blight on the area. He took up the challenge and decided on a brick based exterior and four new style column chimneys to take the smoke from the coal powered station high over the surrounding chimney tops.

    My Great Great Uncle was Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and the power station was, of course, Battersea Power Station.

    The following image shows my line of descent, the only person missing is me.

    Sir Giles Gilbert Scott is in the middle of the photograph next to the woman in white (my late Grandmother), on the left of her is my late Grandfather, David Gilbert Scott and on his shoulders is my dad,
    Christopher David Scott.

    Adrian Gilbert Scott (Gilesí brother, and my Great Grandfather) is second from the right. The photograph was taken at George Gilbert Scott Jnrís wifeís house (Ellen) in Ninfield, East Sussex. Ellen is the old lady on the bottom row in the center of the image.



    Whilst we are doing the family tree lines, Sir George Gilbert Scott (The Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station, Albert Memorial etc) is my Great Great Great Grandfather.


    So my family history explained, you can see my reason for contacting Battersea Power Station. I read they were to open the gates to the public for one last time in September before the building work intensified. We looked at going on these days but realised that only one person was able to make it, so I contacted their head office to start the ball rolling. Eventually we organised a date to suit us all and went out for one of the most relaxed visits to BPS. This was a good idea as we found out that over 40,000 people attended the 2-day open day and many more were turned away despite queuing for hours in Battersea Park!

    At this moment I would like to thank all at BPS, including the security who were all so kind on the day.

    We arrived and donned our PPE and were ready to trek towards the station when we find out we will be driving around in a luxury leather seated Land Rover! (I could get used to this!).




    Part of the reason for the visit was to get answers on questions I had concerns over. As, like most of you, I had heard hearsay on the net about what was going to be scrapped and what public access was going to be like. Well hopefully I will answer (some of) these questions here.

    Our first point of call was Control Room A.

    Everything you see in here (well bar the temporary floor and building strip lights) is staying, there are thoughts of turning it into some kind of restaurant or bistro where the public can still enjoy it. I for one think that is a great idea and has worked well in places such as Saltaire in Bingley (W. Yorks). Most of what is currently on site (including Control Room B, which we did not visit) will be remaining.

    So we entered the building and worked our way up...













    Checkout the amazing ceiling! Pure luxury...



    A look down to Turbine Hall A...










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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Battersea Power Station - The Family Visit - October 2013



    Our second port of call was a look at Turbine Hall A, the central area and Turbine Hall B.

    So Turbine Hall A is planned to stay like you see it here; a large void of space with a high ceiling. There will be shops and cafe's to the left and the right, but the shop fronts will be level with the concrete pillars. This will mean that you will still enter the huge volume of space, much like at the Tate Modern.



    Some murals on the wall (on the left of the image above) with Control Room A directly above...



    Now here are the iconic chimneys...





    BPS plan to keep as much of the brickwork and metal girders showing from the two ends as possible.
    They will replace the windows but the walls will be exposed (behind glass or whatnot) and internally lit.
    Again, I like the idea.

    Chimney wise, this is where I am slightly uncomfortable, if you view the image above (2nd up) you will see heras fencing on the ground directly below the chimney's. These are 'safe zones' for any part of the chimneys that may decide to fall off. Apparently the concrete isn't doing well inside, well not well enough to last the future life of the building anyway. So the planners have been granted permission by English Heritage and the local council to dismantle the chimneys and replace them with new ones (albeit to the same design of the original blueprints), so hopefully they should look exactly the same at the end of it, but there will be a moment in the capital's history where the landmark will lose it's identity.

    What happens if the company goes bust during this process? Well the company has set aside a pot of money. This money is in control by Wandsworth Council just in case the building project stops (like all the others previously) and they will continue the work and finish off the job so whatever happens, the 4 chimneys will be rebuilt.

    A link to more info on the chimney rebuild... http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/ar...himney_rebuild


    Turbine Hall B...



    Notice the tiled pillars, these will be renovated to look like they did when first constructed, keeping the tiles in place.




    Now we move to the rear of the open land to get a few wide angle shots...

    Me and my rather massive shadow!!



    The family taking in the view...



    Good use of puddle...



    This shot is from the end facing the River Thames...



    And the cranes which will also be kept...




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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Battersea Power Station - The Family Visit - October 2013



    At this point I had noticed the wind was getting stronger, not great as there was one last thing on my list, a trip up to the base of the chimney. Our guide, who by the way was like a walking history book of BPS knowledge, phoned the security office who said the wind was just about under the cut off strength, so off we drove back round to the external lift...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzY5WJVk0h8



    At the base of the chimney...







    Me...



    Then we go back to earth!

    When we got back to reception, I got a picture of the doors (that will be replaced onto the station during construction) from the bottom of the stairwell of Control Room A, these are now behind the reception desk...



    This canvas image of the stations construction was hung in the (extremely posh) male toilets!!



    And this was the model of the landmark that was used in the London Olympics ceremony...




    So that's it, the Scott family tour of Battersea Power Station.

    For more information, please visit;

    www.batterseapowerstation.co.uk


    My concern was the power station would turn into a small shopping space on the lower floors and office space/apartments in the rest of the building.

    Well this is not happening, the power station will be 90% accessible to the public, with only the very top floors (ie roof built) being penthouses.

    There will be a public atrium on the roof where you can look down into the complex and there will be restaurants, a theatre, art galleries (possibly in the turbine halls) and various shops.

    So the majority of the power station will be accessible to the public.


    And one last photo, might as well end with the family group in front of the power station shot!!

    (my auntie, my dad (who was the little boy on the shoulders in the first family photo), my sister, my mum and me (Michael Christopher Scott).





    Last edited by Derelict-UK; 17-11-2013 at 06:36 PM.
    UE Photos & Videos from 2002 to the present day: www.photoaddiction.co.uk

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Battersea Power Station - The Family Visit - October 2013

    wow what a place, top work
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    Derelict-UK (17-11-2013)

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Battersea Power Station - The Family Visit - October 2013

    well written and captured a long report but kept me interested to the end

    Cheers Myke

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    Derelict-UK (17-11-2013)

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Battersea Power Station - The Family Visit - October 2013

    Belting! Loved the story
    The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.

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    Derelict-UK (17-11-2013)

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Battersea Power Station - The Family Visit - October 2013

    Well informed and researched report, plenty of Battersea fans will be grateful for this golden nugget of a report.

    Proper job!

    Slap your bass, Not your kids !!

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    Derelict-UK (18-11-2013)

  12. #8
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    Default Re: Battersea Power Station - The Family Visit - October 2013

    Thanks all, I know it's a bit long but hope the info within helps people understand what its future is instead of getting hearsay from people guessing what will happen to it.
    UE Photos & Videos from 2002 to the present day: www.photoaddiction.co.uk

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