West Ham Power Station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
West Ham Power Station
West Ham B Power Station.jpg
West Ham 'B' Power Station 1974
Country England
Location Greater London
Coordinates 51°31′05″N 0°00′05″E / 51.5180°N 0.0014°E / 51.5180; 0.0014Coordinates: 51°31′05″N 0°00′05″E / 51.5180°N 0.0014°E / 51.5180; 0.0014
Commission date 1904 (West Ham A)
1951 (West Ham B)
Decommission date 1983
Operator(s) Central Electricity Generating Board
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Coal-fired
Power generation
Nameplate capacity 114 MW
grid reference TQ388818

West Ham Power Station was a coal-fired power station on Bow Creek (the tidal mouth of the River Lea) at Canning Town, in east London. It was often referred to informally as Canning Town Power Station.


The first power station at Canning Town was opened by West Ham Borough Council in 1904, in part to supply the borough's tramways. It replaced an earlier station built in 1898 at Abbey Mills. The station was extended several times between 1904 and 1930, making West Ham one of the largest municipal electricity suppliers in London.[1]

West Ham "A" Power Station used two phase generators as compared with conventional three phase. The local undertaking in West Ham also distributed two phase electricity. In its later life it was connected to the National Grid using Scott connected transformers that converted two phase to three phase electricity.

The station was located off the long-demolished Tucker Street. It was damaged in a bombing raid in September 1940 during the Second World War. The operating of the station was taken over by British Electricity Authority in 1947, who completed a new West Ham 'B' Power Station to the south of the original station in 1951. This had two prominent concrete cooling towers. The A Station used the original wooden cooling towers. As well as burning coal the "B" Station burnt coke blended with coal in its chain grate boilers. The coke was supplied from the adjacent Bromley Gas works. The railway sidings linked to the North London Line at Stephenson Street. Having been taken over by the CEGB in the late 1950s, the B station was closed on 31 October 1983 with a generating capacity of 114 MW.[2] It was subsequently demolished.

The power station seen from the Lea in 1904.


  1. ^ 'West Ham: Local government and public services', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6 (1973), pp. 96-112. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42758. Date accessed: 25 November 2007.
  2. ^ Mr. Redmond (16 January 1984). WA_281 "Coal-fired Power Stations" Check |url= value (help). Hansard. Retrieved 1 September 2009. 

External links[edit]