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Power Station

Hackney Power Station 'A' & 'B' and Waste Destructor





Hackney led the way in innovative power generation schemes and waste to power plantsat 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.

Details

Ownership

LB of Hackney (East side). Electricity company (West side).

Date or period

Circa.1901 and 1945

Current Designation

None

Archaeological Significance

High

Condition

Partially demolished

Future Conservation

Watching brief in relation to any future development.

The surviving flank wall of the turbine hall of Station B

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 theDisinfecting Stationbuildings 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 theCouncil’s Dust Destructor. The Station was also picketed during the miners strike of 1984-85.

30 MW Parsons steam turbine in Hackney A power station, London, 1932. (Wikipedia).


References

William H. Maxwell,Removal and Disposal of Town Refuse, withanexhaustive treatment of Refuse Destructor Plants(London, 1899), with a specialSupplement embodying later results (London, 1905)

leabridge.org.uk December 2012
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