Thursday, 04 April 2019 14:22

Remembering Tinsley Towers (And Their Demolition): Memories of Sheffield

Written by
Tinsley Towers, Sheffield Tinsley Towers, Sheffield Flickr/minkymonkeymoo

A look back at the iconic Tinsley Towers, and their demolition event.

The M1 viaduct is one of Sheffield's most prominent landmarks, and was once made all the more so by the adjacent pair of cooling towers that the viaduct respectfully curved around.

Those towers were left standing for safety reasons after the demolition of the old Blackburn Meadows Power Station, following it's closure in 1980.

A major point of contention for many years, the cooling towers were deemed too dangerous to demolish, given their promimity to the twin-decked motorway viaduct (just 12 meters away at the closest point).

Their iconic status, and the possibly prohibitive costs of demolishing the towers safely, until recently looked to have cemented their status in Sheffield's future as much as they were a part of its history, until the owner of the tower (and the now-demolished power station) E.ON UK, stated its intention to demolish them once the strengthening of the viaduct made it feasible.

Sentimental locals immediately started a campaign to retain the Tinsley Towers in some form.

Initially, the structures were given a repreive from destruction after being chosen as a nesting site by a rare bird. Later, plans were made to turn them into a piece of public art. Other plans for the towers included concert halls, skate parks and a theme park.

The 250 feet (76 m) towers were demolished at 3AM BST on 24 August 2008 though a significant portion of the north tower remained standing for a short while.

The demolition attracted widespread attention. A viewing platform was set up in the car parks of nearby Meadowhall Shopping Centre so the public could watch the towers fall. Others gathered on surrounding hills to get a good look.

Part of the site is now used for a new biomass power station by the owners E.ON UK.

Fun, informative, interesting videos from the steel city!

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