Walls come tumbling down: the demolition of Meaford Power Station

by Senior Museums Officer, Chris Copp at Staffordshire Past Track

Meaford ‘B’ Power Station, September 1991. Demolition of the Generator Hall

Recently added to the Staffordshire Past Track website is a set of photographs of the demolition of Meaford Power Station, taken by one of the workforce. Here is a selection of those images. It is difficult nowadays to imagine the impact on the landscape of those cooling towers and chimneys on this stretch of the Trent Valley. Indeed, it is now well over 20 years since they were demolished.

Meaford ‘B’ Power Station, September 1991. Work has begun on decommissioning the Generator Hall.

There were in fact two power stations at Meaford. The much smaller ‘A’ station opened in 1947 and ceased generation in 1974 and was demolished in 1982. ‘B’ station was formally opened on October 4, 1957, although electricity generation had started in December 1955.

‘B’ station generated for the last time on September 28, 1990, at 1pm. The cooling towers were demolished in September 1991 just before formal closure on October 1, 1991.

However, the demolition of the power station itself was not completed until 1996 with work commencing in early January and the chimney coming down by explosion on June 6, 1996.  Meaford Business Park now occupies part of the old power station site and a new gas-fired power station, the Meaford Energy Centre, is planned.

Meaford ‘B’ Power Station, September 1991 The demolition of the chimney caused several casualties and damaged this tipper truck seen here, when the chimney & accidently came down in the wrong place.

All these photographs and more than 38,000 others are or will shortly be available on the improved Staffordshire Past Track website (www.staffspasttrack.org.uk). To find out what’s new on the site, just click on to the ‘Latest Additions’ tab.

You might also like to try out the GPS Location Explorer feature on the site: when using a mobile device with GPS enabled, the page will show a list of resources nearest you. With ‘automatic updates’ switched on, the results will automatically reload every few metres you walk. It works particularly well where there are a lot of resources – give it a go in Eccleshall and Stone and see what things looked like in the past on the spot you’re standing. 

If you have any images to lend, or any extra information, please contact the Past Track team: Staffordshire Past Track, Staffordshire Archives & Heritage, Shugborough, Milford, Stafford ST17 0XB. Telephone 01889 869137, email past.track@staffordshire.gov.uk. You can also keep up to date with what’s new on Past Track by ‘liking’ our Facebook page.

Demolition of Meaford Power Station cooling towers, viewed from the A34 near the Darlaston Roundabout.