UK Battersea Powerstation

On a trip with Sev, Adam, Liam and Mark, we managed to infiltrate Battersea Power Station, with the hope of watching the Battersea fireworks high on the A Side roof. We made it in, legged it across no mans land with strong beams of security light and into the insides of the power station. For an hour we plotted our ascent to the top, a number of hurdles meant we had to give up, a ladder that would take us to the floor above had been chained and the climb too dangerous and with contractors in view, we couldn’t make it to a door on the other side. 

So in our last hope at at least getting some shots, we hide behind a bank ready to leg it to the B Side but this was when we were spotted and chased, I have never run so fast in all my life, just as we had almost got away secca grabbed Liam by the foot and almost had him, but he got away and we legged it into the crowds queuing to watch the fireworks. We stood for a couple of minutes to catch our breath in disbelief at what we had just done and what had just happened and how close we were to probably spending the night in a police cell, we were disappointed we couldn’t watch the fireworks from Battersea. 

In 2013 I found out that we could get inside and so we did a couple of revisits to take photos, I found out that in just a couple of day’s redevelopment work will begin, so this was the last chance for me to final attempt and I’m so glad I did. Getting inside was the easy bit, speed was essential at not being spotted, but once inside getting to the control rooms was the harder task, a death defying climb made me get cold sweats when we reached where we needed to be. On the first visit we managed to get inside control room B, a beautiful steam punk looking room with a hundred knobs and levers, it was a dream to photograph. Looking back I feel so happy that I stood inside the magnificent walls of Battersea for an hour, marvelling at one of the most epic structures I have ever been in. I feel so lucky to have managed to explore it. I have gone past it over a hundred times on the train to London and have time and time again plotted that one day I would make it inside and now I’ve done it, I’m left wanting to do it again and again. 

‘Battersea Power Station is a decommissioned coal-fired power station located on the south bank of the River Thames, in Battersea, an inner-city district of South West London. It comprises two individual power stations, built in two stages in the form of a single building. Battersea A Power Station was built in the 1930s, with Battersea B Power Station to its east in the 1950s. The two stations were built to an identical design, providing the well known four-chimney layout. The station ceased generating electricity in 1983, but over the past 50 years it has become one of the best known landmarks in London and is Grade II* listed. The station’s celebrity owes much to numerous cultural appearances, which include a shot in The Beatles’ 1965 movie Help!, appearing in the video for the 1982 hit single “Another Thing Comin´” by heavy metal band Judas Priest and being used in the cover art of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals, as well as a cameo appearance in Take That’s music video “The Flood.” In addition, a photograph of the plant’s control room was used as cover art on Hawkwind’s 1977 album Quark, Strangeness and Charm.

Since the station’s closure the site has remained largely unused, with numerous failed redevelopment plans from successive site owners. The site was owned by the administrators of Irish company Real Estate Opportunities (REO), who bought it for £400 million in November 2006. In November 2010, REO was granted permission to refurbish the station for public use and build 3,400 homes across the site. However, this plan fell through due to REO’s debt being called in by its creditors, the state-owned banks in the UK and Ireland. In July 2012, the power station was sold to a consortium led by Malaysia’s SP Setia for £400m. The station is the largest brick building in Europe and is notable for its original, lavish Art Deco interior fittings and decor. However, the building’s condition has been described as “very bad” by English Heritage and is included in itsBuildings at Risk Register. In 2004, while the redevelopment project was stalled, and the building remained derelict, the site was listed on the 2004 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund. The combination of an existing debt burden of some £750 million, the need to make a £200 million contribution to a proposed extension to the London Underground, requirements to fund conservation of the derelict power station shell and the presence of a waste transfer station and cement plant on the river frontage make a commercial development of the site a significant challenge. In December 2011, the latest plans to develop the site collapsed with the debt called in by the creditors. In February 2012, the site was placed on sale on the open property market through commercial estate agent Knight Frank. It has received interest from a variety of overseas consortia, most seeking to demolish or part-demolish the structure. -Wikepedia 

Being inside this place was amazing, when since being a child I’ve gone past on the train into central London and always wondered what was inside the massive building. The Art Deco Battersea Power Station Control Room A was a case of third time lucky, after not reaching this control room on the last visit, I couldnt give up. It was a god awful climb to be endured to get into this one, up and into instead of a staircase that has been locked. My heart raced as we climbed up, but once inside it was all worth it, if not a bit on edge the whole time after knowing going back down would probably be more terrifying, but feel truly lucky to have seen it on this day.

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