Powering the City
|Deptford Power Station|
New age of power generation
It was the world's first modern high pressure power station. It introduced a new age in the scale and capacity of electricity generation.
Originally, the building had two large chimneys, but these were later replaced by a single one. This sketch of the station was made in 1890. It shows the original chimneys and it also gives an indication of the pollution created by the station.
Although the station pioneered lots of important new ideas, the scheme was a commercial failure. This was because the number of consumers earmarked for the company by the Board of
At the same time, the designer's vision was too far in advance of its time, which led to problems with the generating and distribution equipment. This photograph is of the coaling plant and workshops at Deptford.
The London Power Company
Leonard Pearce designed the new Deptford station and building began in 1926. This photograph shows the north chimney during construction.
During the building of the new plant, which was known as Deptford West, five men were killed when a shaft ring fractured. The men were caught between tons of falling debris on one side and the river gushing into the tunnel on the other.
Despite this, the work was soon completed and, although there was a friendly rivalry between the two plants, they were actually both part of the same complex. This photograph is of the shared coal store for both Deptford East and West.
In 1948 nationalisation of the industry created the British Electricity Authority. They completed Ferranti's original work by creating a high-pressure extension to Pearce's design. This was the final extension to be built at Deptford, making it the second largest station in Britain.
After 1957 the Ferranti building was taken out of use. It remained empty until it was demolished in the late 1960s.
The remaining buildings finally closed in October 1983 after problems with asbestos. It was also destroyed in 1992.
The site now forms part of the Millennium Quay development, consisting of 660 appartments. This picture shows the demolition of one of the chimneys at Deptford Station.
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