Blackburn Meadows Power Station

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Blackburn Meadows Power Station
Blackburn Meadows cooling towers - - 37873.jpg
Blackburn Meadows Power Station's cooling towers standing prior to their demolition.
Blackburn Meadows Power Station is located in South Yorkshire
Blackburn Meadows Power Station
Location of Blackburn Meadows Power Station
Country England
Location South Yorkshire
Coordinates 53°25′05″N 1°24′17″W / 53.418109°N 1.404847°W / 53.418109; -1.404847Coordinates: 53°25′05″N 1°24′17″W / 53.418109°N 1.404847°W / 53.418109; -1.404847
Commission date 1921
Decommission date 1980
Power generation
Primary fuel Coal-fired
Nameplate capacity 72 MW
grid reference SK395914

Blackburn Meadows Power Station was a coal-fired power station situated on the River Don, between Sheffield and Rotherham in South Yorkshire, England. It was well known for its two cooling towers which were a landmark on the M1 motorway and came to be known as the Tinsley Towers. They were demolished on 24 August 2008, nearly thirty years after the station ceased generating electricity.


The station was built in 1921 by the Sheffield Corporation, to support the steel industry in the Lower Don Valley. The station was expanded in the 1930s. Hyperboloid cooling towers 6 and 7 were constructed between 1937 and 1938, replacing earlier square cooling towers. They were designed by LG Mouchell and Partners. The station was nationalised after the Second World War and operated by the Central Electricity Generating Board.[1] The station closed on 27 October 1980 with a generating capacity of 72 megawatts.[2]

Most of the station was demolished following the closure, but two of the cooling towers were left standing until August 2008.

Part of the site is proposed to be used for a new biomass power station by the owners E.ON UK.[3]

Tinsley cooling towers[edit]

Demolition of Tinsley cooling towers on 24 August 2008.

For safety reasons the Tinsley cooling towers could not easily be demolished, and were left standing unused for a further 27 years after the stations closure. Positioned directly alongside the major motorway bridge, Tinsley viaduct, the towers were an iconic landmark for the area, particularly due to their prominence when viewed from the M1 motorway. There was a campaign to save the towers, known locally as the salt and pepper pots, from demolition with proposals to turn them into a giant art installation.[4]

The two 250 ft (76 m) towers were demolished at 03.00 a.m. on 24 August 2008. However a significant portion of the north tower remained standing for a short while, which had to be destroyed manually.[5]


  1. ^ E Branse-Instone (16 February 2006). "Advisers Report" (PDF). English Heritage. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  2. ^ Mr. Redmond (16 January 1984). "Coal-fired Power Stations". Hansard. Retrieved 1 September 2009. 
  3. ^ "E.ON UK Blackburn Meadows Green powerstation". E.ON. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  4. ^ Topping, Alexandra (2 April 2008). "Crushing disappointment". London: The Guardian. 
  5. ^ "Blast demolishes landmark towers". BBC News (BBC). 24 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-24.