You can’t ignore it from the Chelsea Embankment. A brooding brick hulk decaying since the 1980s.
The site is in a very bad condition. The largest brick building in Europe stands close to collapse, £150 Million quoted as the cost to simply make it safe again, let alone make it useful. In 2006 it was purchased by REO (An Irish Development company) for £400 Million. This is prime land.
It was built in two parts, Station A taking ten years to complete and being opened on the eve of World War II, and an almost exact replica, Station B, being built over three years and being completed in 1955, giving the station it’s famous 4 chimneys. in 1975 the ageing A Station was closed, with B station following it 8 years later.
There’s something about a night like this. When I started exploring every trip was a new adventure, now it often seems like I’m treading old ground. Late on the evening of the first Sunday of 2008, I sat up Kings Point with two fellow explorers, and toasted a new year of hope and opportunity, and said that by the start of 2009, I wanted to have visited this iconic site. There were a few others as well, but the Paris Catacombs and Chernobyl would have to wait for another day.
The buildings are simply huge. When it’s said that it’s the biggest brick building in Europe, it’s easy to compare it to others, questionning it’s status, but when you’re standing next to it and have to crane your neck just to see the chimney, there’s no question in your mind.
Battersea is Collosal.
One of the highlights of Battersea is the Art Deco control rooms. Switches, fuse plugs, buttons and levers stretch as far as the eye can see, each one anonymous in its use but collectively, the key to central London’s power for half a century.
‘Control Room B’, as it is often called, is actually the switch room. Control room A is the real deal.
Pictures don’t really do this place justice. To see, to be, to feel it is the only way. The only thing left to do is to get on the roof. And the Cranes. But I didn’t do that… Try it?