MY past articles have described in detail the establishment of an Army Ordnance Depot between Didcot and Sutton Courtenay.

The depot existed from 1914 until finally closing in 1964 and the remaining equipment transferred to the Bicester Depot.

The whole area covered 620 acres and the land attracted many interested parties.

The British Motor Corporation (BMC) were looking for storage for their cars prior to dispatch for showrooms across the United Kingdom.

The large expanse of land also attracted the Central Electricity Generation Board (CEGB),who were looking for a site for a new power station in the South of England.

From the 1940s through the 1950s, Earley Power Station in Reading had been the main producer of electricity supply for this area, but the increase of population and industry meant demand for more electricity, having to be supplied from Power Stations in the Midlands and the West of England.

CEGB stated that a Power Station in Didcot would be ideal to feed the local demand which had been subject to occasional power cuts.

After a good deal of correspondence for and against the development and many meeting of all interested parties it was decided the soon-to-be vacant land between Didcot and Sutton Courtenay was to be where a 2000MW coal fired power station was finally constructed.

But it was not plain sailing, especially after the plans were revealed in 1962 to the local council and leaked to the local press soon afterwards.

Didcot Parish Council welcomed the building of the power station as it would bring employment to Didcot and the surrounding area. There had been fears that the former depot site would be left derelict by the MOD.

However objections came on health grounds from the Council for Protection of Rural England concern about Sulphur Dioxide in the air leading to lung disease, resulted in letters being written to the local newspapers.

These were dismissed by representatives of CEGB as various filters would take all the noxious gases high into the atmosphere via the central 650fft high chimney stack.

The local MP, Airey Neave, wrote extolling the benefits of such a structure with no health issues or depreciation of house prices to local residents.

There were lots of calls by local parish councils for a public enquiry but finally in January 1963 Berkshire County Council (remember this area was part of Berkshire up to 1974) voted against holding that public enquiry, although it was said the councillors had not fully understood the technical parts of the power station plan.

Frederick Gibberd and Partners were employed as the architects by CEGB to design the power station site.

It would consist of 8 large cooling towers (reduced to six on the final plan) a 650ft high central stack, with a turbine hall and boiler house both over a 100ft high.

Work commenced in 1965 and was completed by the late 60s and the power station output fed into the National Grid from 1970 onwards until closure in 2013.