General NewsGosportNewsTop Stories

Fawley chimney demolished in ten seconds

The explosion was heard in Lee though, as Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas reports, the demise of the Solent landmark was not visible due to the weather

FAWLEY Power Station chimney had stood for more than half a century but on Sunday morning in just 10 seconds it was reduced to rubble and dust.

Despite the dismal, wet weather the controlled explosion to bring down the 650-foot chimney and the remaining southern end of the Turbine House went ahead as scheduled at 7am.

A Globe reader who lives in Lee-on-the-Solent said that, “every parking spot along the seafront was filled. People were also out on the promenade.

“We heard the demolition explosions but no flashes could be seen.”

The weather was so bad, it was not until about two hours later that he was able see the far shore of Southampton Water and could confirm from his vantage point: “the chimney is no more”.

Videos – such as those at BBC News, Fawley Waterside, ITV Meridian and Sky News – of the demolition show the chimney did not topple but collapsed almost straight down.

Fawley Waterside Limited which owns the site confirmed this was the last explosive demolition as the remaining structures will be demolished using machinery in the coming months.

Chief Executive  Aldred Drummond, said: “Fawley Power Station was the largest and most efficient power station of its time, the chimney is totemic, one both loved as a landmark by some and disliked by others as a symbol of fossil fuel power.

“I’ve looked at this chimney for over 40 years and at one stage had considered repurposing it as a viewing platform and restaurant.

“Once this opportunity was removed through the planning process I some time ago concluded that it can be replaced with a building of much greater elegance that will itself become a beloved local landmark.”

This will be part of the redevelopment of the site which is planned to be a small town of shops, cafés, 1,500 homes, and space for advanced manufacturing, marine and technology industries.

Photo (top): Almost gone – the Fawley chimney is nearly ‘no more’. From video at Fawley Waterside