LiveBlog: Follow our coverage this morning of the demolition of the towers at Didcot Power Station + Watch the demolition + Audio interviews

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Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Assistant Editor

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Summary

  • The three cooling towers at Didcot A Power Station were demolished this morning, at 5am. It was a little later than expected but the detonation, caught on video in this blog, went pretty much to plan, RWE Generation executives said.
  • The cooling towers were demolished following the de-commissioning of the coal-fired power station last year.
  • Thousands of people ignored warnings and found vantage spots to watch the iconic towers, which have dominated the Didcot skyline across six decades, come down.
  • A plume of dust rose over the site but there have been no reports of it causing problems to either the spectators or the transport links.
  • There had been concerns about the time of the demolition making it too dark for spectators, but the slight delays meant there was enough light.
  • The lower part of one of the towers was not demolished, but RWE chief commercial officer Alan Robinson said this was not a major issue and it would be swept away by the contractors.
  • The three sister cooling towers at Didcot B were not demolished as that power station - which is gas-fired rather than coal-fired - is still operating.
  • Read through our blog below, as it captured the lead up and the demolition, and watch our video of the final moments of the towers. There are also pictures, audio interviews and tweets as Oxfordshire bade farewell to the cooling towers of Didcot A

10:03am

Here's a different angle to our video of the demolition, courtesy of reader John Talbot

Our video is a couple of entries down if you continue to scroll

9:30am

Our timelapse gallery is up online so you can watch in detail how it went from this...

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to this...

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to this in 15 seconds...

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...and 26 steps: Jon Lewis' timelapse picture gallery of the demolition of Didcot A's towers

8:15am

Three shots of the towers coming down, shot from the footbridge over the railway by our man Ed Nix

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8:10am

7:54am

Listen: Alan Robinson, the chief commercial officer if RWE Generation, says the leftover 'stump' of one of the towers will not be an issue

7:36am

  • Listen: Kevin Nix, head of RWE Generation UK, talks about the success of the demolition this morning

6:51am

Here we go: Our video, very fortunately timed, capturing the demolition of the three towers at Didcot A Power Station

5:46am

5:46am

5:45am

We'll have audio and video for you shortly plus more pictures

5:44am

Ben MacDow, 33, an event manager from Wallingford,  who watched the blowdown from Wittenham Clumps, said: "It was eerie to see the towers fall so silently and then there was a rumble afterwards. The power station looks all lopsided now." Dale Warne, 31, from Wallingford, added: "I think it is going to be dusty in Didcot for a while."

5:44am

5:10am Sun 27 Jul 14

OxonResident says

Watching online, thankfully the feed did come back online for the actual demolition bit. Had my bedroom window open, felt and heard a slight rumble here on Lodge Hill in North Abingdon a few seconds after the towers went down. Doubt I would have noticed the sound this far away if I hadn't been looking out for it though.

5:43am

Karen Webb, 50, of Worcester Drive, Didcot, said: "They had to come down because they weren't efficient but it's sad because they were part of many people's lives."

5:20am

The bottom part of one tower still standing is not a major problem, RWE tells us. Cranes will go in and clear that last bit

5:19am

We caught the demolition on video so we'll have that for you soon

5:12am

Herald Series:

5:10am

The bottom of the third tower is still standing. Seems like that is not intended but waiting on confirmation

5:06am

The bottom of the third tower is still standing. Seems like that is not intended but waiting on confirmation

5:05am

The entire mound just erupted in cheers and the crowd are now dispersing

5:01am

And they're gone. A little early on expected detonation time.

4:55am

The dawn is here and here is one of the last shots of the towers standing

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4:51am

The 10 minute siren has sounded

4:51am

The 10 minute siren has sounded

4:45am

The 15 minute warning has just sounded. Looks like 5am detonation

4:45am

The dawn chorus has just started at the power station

4:34am

The dawn chorus has just started at the power station

4:33am

Francis Rose, 64, a law professor from Oxford, said: "The towers are very distinctive. There aren't many opportunities like this."

4:29am

We've just been handed some interesting stats:

Warning sounds will sound 15 and 10 minutes before the detonations

There are 7,500 separate demolition charges

180kg of explosives in the three towers

Demolition will take 3 years to complete with the chimney the final thing to come down in late 2016

Building of the power station started in 1964 and was completed four years later

Designed by architect Frederick Gibberd

Cost £104m

The main chimney is 204m tall

The six cooling towers are each 113m tall and 93m wide

Commercial operation began in 1970

Didcot A could generate 2000 MegaWatts of electricity - enough to power 2 million homes

It closed in March 2013

 

 

4:21am

Herald Series:

The view from Ladygrove

4:19am

That bang was nothing to do with the demolition

4:14am

4:13am

4:12am

4:06am Sun 27 Jul 14

Sakky Rat says

So completely gutted that I cannot be there to see the Towers that have been taken for grated by myself and many others fall from grace...
So many happy memories, of being with my Mother and Father on return trips, to see your magnificence, as a child.
I will miss the safe feeling of 'home' that you surrounded me with.
The end of an era.
With you I fall...

4:10am

County council leader Ian Hudspeth is watching the action from Great Western Park.

3:56am

Estimates of 1,500 people at Wittenham Clumps 

3:38am

3:27am Sun 27 Jul 14

The New Private Eye says

Rest In Peace to our gigantic beautiful friends, like all of our lives, it must come to an end. Just a push of a button, and down you will come, but this is a victory, just for some. We loved you and the place, you held in our hearts, and in just a few seconds, you'll be reduced to parts. And in the time that I now, take to ponder, I will miss you my dear, when I look a Yonder.

RIP DIDCOT. Progress?????

3:38am

Ben Shewchuk, 32, lives in London but grew up in Didcot and came back with a group of friends to see the demolition. He said: "I look forward to seeing them when I come home.
"I worked at the power station in a summer job as an industrial cleaner and I know what it means to people.
"They are majestic. There will be something missing."
One group has brought balloons. There's a party atmosphere in Ladygrove despite the time of day.

3:32am

It's just been confirmed the demolition will happen between 4.30am and 5am

3:15am

Dozens more people continue to file up the already crowded mound. Ladygrove resident Andy Knott, 36, who has come with his father Mike, said: "I thought it would be busy but I didn't realise it would be this busy."

3:12am

3:11am

2:52am

Hundreds of people have gathered on the mound in the Ladygrove estate to see the demolition and several people are playing music.
Estate resident Karen Thomas, 47, said: "The atmosphere will be absolutely fantastic.
"They have been part of my childhood and I will miss them terribly."

 

2:49am

 

Our view of the towers from a platform at Didcot B

Herald Series:

2:45am

It is busy at Wittenham Clumps

2:45am

It is busy at Wittenham Clumps

2:45am

A group of about 50 have so far gathered on the railway bridge at Basil Hill Road to see the demolition.

Lydalls Rd resident Martin Davies, 43, said: "I have seen them from my bedroom window all my life. There will be something missing from the local landscape."

2:13am

Didcot B has been turned off tonight because of the potential dust from the demolition of the towers at A

1:54am

Our man Ed Nix is in place to get hopefully some great shots later.

1:53am

Good morning and welcome to our live blog covering the demolition of the cooling towers at Didcot Power Station A, brought to you from the neighbouring B station.

It's a pleasant evening and people are already beginning to gather at vantage points, including along Milton Road.

Visibility seems ok at the moment.

Comments (9)

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3:27am Sun 27 Jul 14

The New Private Eye says...

Rest In Peace to our gigantic beautiful friends, like all of our lives, it must come to an end. Just a push of a button, and down you will come, but this is a victory, just for some. We loved you and the place, you held in our hearts, and in just a few seconds, you'll be reduced to parts. And in the time that I now, take to ponder, I will miss you my dear, when I look a Yonder.

RIP DIDCOT. Progress?????
Rest In Peace to our gigantic beautiful friends, like all of our lives, it must come to an end. Just a push of a button, and down you will come, but this is a victory, just for some. We loved you and the place, you held in our hearts, and in just a few seconds, you'll be reduced to parts. And in the time that I now, take to ponder, I will miss you my dear, when I look a Yonder. RIP DIDCOT. Progress????? The New Private Eye
  • Score: 8

4:06am Sun 27 Jul 14

Sakky Rat says...

So completely gutted that I cannot be there to see the Towers that have been taken for grated by myself and many others fall from grace...
So many happy memories, of being with my Mother and Father on return trips, to see your magnificence, as a child.
I will miss the safe feeling of 'home' that you surrounded me with.
The end of an era.
With you I fall...
So completely gutted that I cannot be there to see the Towers that have been taken for grated by myself and many others fall from grace... So many happy memories, of being with my Mother and Father on return trips, to see your magnificence, as a child. I will miss the safe feeling of 'home' that you surrounded me with. The end of an era. With you I fall... Sakky Rat
  • Score: 5

4:07am Sun 27 Jul 14

CtrlAltTab says...

The Coleman Co video stream is not working again, this whole thing is a total embarrassment to those who have dealt with it.
The Coleman Co video stream is not working again, this whole thing is a total embarrassment to those who have dealt with it. CtrlAltTab
  • Score: 3

4:45am Sun 27 Jul 14

CtrlAltTab says...

CtrlAltTab wrote:
The Coleman Co video stream is not working again, this whole thing is a total embarrassment to those who have dealt with it.
Started working fine, then its just crashed max user connections!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]CtrlAltTab[/bold] wrote: The Coleman Co video stream is not working again, this whole thing is a total embarrassment to those who have dealt with it.[/p][/quote]Started working fine, then its just crashed max user connections!!!!!! CtrlAltTab
  • Score: 4

5:10am Sun 27 Jul 14

OxonResident says...

Watching online, thankfully the feed did come back online for the actual demolition bit. Had my bedroom window open, felt and heard a slight rumble here on Lodge Hill in North Abingdon a few seconds after the towers went down. Doubt I would have noticed the sound this far away if I hadn't been looking out for it though.
Watching online, thankfully the feed did come back online for the actual demolition bit. Had my bedroom window open, felt and heard a slight rumble here on Lodge Hill in North Abingdon a few seconds after the towers went down. Doubt I would have noticed the sound this far away if I hadn't been looking out for it though. OxonResident
  • Score: 2

10:45am Sun 27 Jul 14

jochta says...

BTW in your introduction there is an error in the comment about the other three large cooling towers. These three northern cooling towers will be demolished next year, probably not by explosives. They are part of Didcot A. The cooling towers of Didcot B are mostly underground, of a different type and are barely visible.
BTW in your introduction there is an error in the comment about the other three large cooling towers. These three northern cooling towers will be demolished next year, probably not by explosives. They are part of Didcot A. The cooling towers of Didcot B are mostly underground, of a different type and are barely visible. jochta
  • Score: 6

8:25pm Sun 27 Jul 14

mytaxes says...

Thanks for a great vid!
Thanks for a great vid! mytaxes
  • Score: 1

1:43pm Mon 28 Jul 14

DaveyLC says...

Me and a friend got the opportunity to film the demolition from the sky & the ground, we have been waiting for this event in great anticipation and we were thrilled that they held off demolishing the tower until just before sun-rise.

http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=2lksoLwJ0
18

http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=q3W3Bphyd
O0
Me and a friend got the opportunity to film the demolition from the sky & the ground, we have been waiting for this event in great anticipation and we were thrilled that they held off demolishing the tower until just before sun-rise. http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=2lksoLwJ0 18 http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=q3W3Bphyd O0 DaveyLC
  • Score: 1

2:55pm Mon 28 Jul 14

jkg says...

"The three sister cooling towers at Didcot B were not demolished as that power station - which is gas-fired rather than coal-fired - is still operating" is not I think correct.
The three north towers are part of Didcot A but are much closer to the CCGT Didcot B that has its own cooling system (wastes much less heat).
"The three sister cooling towers at Didcot B were not demolished as that power station - which is gas-fired rather than coal-fired - is still operating" is not I think correct. The three north towers are part of Didcot A but are much closer to the CCGT Didcot B that has its own cooling system (wastes much less heat). jkg
  • Score: 0

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