By Abingdon taxi driver Colin Dobson

It was announced this week that the remaining cooling towers at Didcot Power Station are to be imploded in the early hours of Sunday, 18 August.

Hyperbolic, graceful and beautiful structures, the three towers are visible for miles around and have been part of the Oxfordshire landscape for a generation.

On many occasions when driving local roads early in the morning, wonderful skyscapes would manifest in the clouds, as if the power station were a link between Oxfordshire and the heavens themselves.

They are interwoven in the daily lives of anyone lives or works in the area, especially anyone travelling through it on a daily basis.

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Of an era when the architecture has been much derided by the present generation, there is something different about the cooling towers of Didcot, curves rather than angles. And Didcot Power Station’s chimney is said to be the 54th tallest structure in the United Kingdom.

When the first three cooling towers were brought down in 2014, I had been driving a minibus full of drunken customers from a nightclub in Reading, back to Abingdon in the early hours, through the verdant countryside of southern Oxfordshire.

At every possible vantage point along our route, hundreds of people were decamped in fields and even on the roofs of their vehicles, awaiting the demolition.

Completely oblivious to what was happening around them, my passengers kept extending the drop off points, until having dropped off the last passengers in north Abingdon shortly after 5am, I made my way up Lodge Hill and witnessed the event in my rear view mirror and saw a group of people stood by the bus stop to my left, cheering and clapping.

There was a real festival atmosphere that night, like the entire community was coming together to mark the occasion, the like of which I have only witnessed three or four times, in 10 years of driving a succession of taxis in southern Oxfordshire.

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At Appleford, some people had even lit a fire and were having a barbecue in a field.

Instead of being the only one active on social media periodically throughout my night working and waiting, I was accompanied by loads of others, known initially online, many of whom subsequently have became friends in real life.

It was like the early, kinder, more gentle days of Twitter had come back. And the local radio station were broadcasting a special programme all night, with one of my favourite broadcasters.

Such an event is inevitably a public spectacle and it is therefore entirely understandable that there is enormous public interest in the 2019 event.

In this litigious age, there are obvious safety concerns.

But there are ways of proactively harnessing and managing such massive local interest and instead of “actively discouraging all forms of unlicensed participation”, it is regrettable that the owners of this site could not see their way to a more proactive approach.