Hackney led the way in innovative power generation schemes and waste to power plants at the end of the nineteenth century. The first waste to power station (by the Shoreditch Vestry of 1897) is in Coronet Street, Shoreditch and is locally listed.
LB of Hackney (East side). Electricity company (West side).
Date or period
Circa.1901 and 1945
Watching brief in relation to any future development.
The 'A' station opened at Millfields Road in 1901. An adjacent refuse destructor supplied heat. Hackney Waste Destructor was of the "Sterling" type, which, combined with electric power generating stations was installed at Hackney in 1901. At the time, it was then probably the most powerful combined destructor and electricity station yet erected.
The original building was built in brick with stone dressings to the designs of Gordon & Gunton, Architects of the Disinfecting Station buildings nearby (and later the Disabled Soldiers and Sailors Alms Houses, also nearby).
A wharf was built on adjacent land leased from the Lee Conservancy to unload coal and remove clinker. Coal or clinker heaped into mounds seems likely to have formed the ‘Spion Kop’; an informal viewing area for Clapton Orient football fans and the site of a gun emplacement in World War I. The clinker may have been used to surface footpaths in the area and may be the origin of the term 'Black Path'.
The power station passed to the London Electricity Board in 1947.
The ‘A’ station has been totally demolished. The western wall of the 'B' Station turbine hall and ancillary buildings remain. No visual evidence remains of the coal wharf.
Along with the Disinfecting Station, this was an important collection of municipal buildings expressing the vision and increasing ambition of local government in Hackney.
The Station played at least two parts in the history of labour relations. In the General Strike of 1926, the Hackney Gazette reported a parson was working as a volunteer at the Council’s Dust Destructor. The Station was also picketed during the miners strike of 1984-85.
William H. Maxwell, Removal and Disposal of Town Refuse, with an exhaustive treatment of Refuse Destructor Plants (London, 1899), with a special Supplement embodying later results (London, 1905)