One of the biggest chimney stacks on the Wilton International site is set to be demolished over the coming year.
The 450ft (137 metre) No. 4 stack at Wilton Power Station stands in a live plant and will be reduced brick by brick by a local based specialist industrial steeplejack firm PC Richardson & Co (Middlesbrough) Limited who have been established since 1918.
The removal of the stack – a feature of the Teesside industrial skyline since it was erected to accompany No. 6 Boiler in around 1960 - has been in the planning since the closure of the last of the coal fired boilers at Wilton Power Station in 2014.
Brian Mitchell, Maintenance Planning Manager, said: “The stack is a familiar landmark for people both on and off site but it has been redundant for some time and in the interests of safety it is better that it is brought down by experts in a controlled manner.”
In total, eight boilers were built at the Wilton Power Station from its first operation in 1952 until 2014 when the last of the coal fired boilers ceased production. After demolition of No. 4 stack only No. 3 stack will remain to be demolished with No. 1 and 2 stacks previously demolished by PC Richardson in 2012/13.
The main picture shows Mr Mitchell at the foot of the stack.
The archive picture shows Wilton Power Station as it was in 1957 with No 1, 2 and 3 stack clearly visible, plus a space between No. 3 and No 5 Boilers which No 4 Boiler was planned to occupy although it it was never built. Also visible is the long gone Piccadilly Restaurant, one of four feeding workers on the site. In an era when most people did not own a car, buses ran through the 2,000 acre site which features around 20 miles of internal roadway and bus stops can be seen outside the restaurant.
Today, site power provider Sembcorp Utilities UK operates a range of more modern power units including a £65 million 35 megawatt Biomass Power Station, two gas turbines, a steam turbine and a number of package boilers. Sembcorp Industries is also a joint venture partner with SITA in the £250 million Merseyside Energy Recovery waste to energy plant which is due to be commissioned at the site shortly.