Broomgrove Power Station

From Historical Hastings

A new power station for Hastings was built in 1926 near to the Ore Valley Brickworks. The previous power station in Earl Street was built in 1882 but had come to the end of its life, this being the replacement. Like its predecessor Broomgrove was also coal-fired with coal arriving via its own siding just beyond Ore Railway Station and level crossing where the track crossed Broomgrove Road. During WW2, this power station supplied electricity to the PLUTO landing point at Dungeness. In total 781,000 cubic metres of fuel was transferred under the English Channel between August of 1944 and May of 1945. The Dungeness pipeline, DUMBO was eventually extended across Europe to reach Emerich in Germany and piped an average of 4,600 tons per day across Europe by the 3rd of April, and closed down on the 7th of August 1945 having carried 180 million gallons of fuel across the channel[1].

This power station survived for four decades, then was replaced with a larger, more powerful station in 1966, which utilised two Rolls Royce 55-megawatt gas turbine generators. These had the advantage that they could be started quickly when national demand was high or supply limited and could thereby function as a standby generator. It was used during the 1984/5 miners strike, but following the privatisation of the Electricity Companies, it was declared redundant[2]. By 1997, the power station was disused and rapidly fell into disrepair.

2000 Fire

On the 15th of May 2000, almost a million tyres that had illegally been stored inside the power station caught fire - the flames spreading asbestos from the interior of the power station across a wide portion of the valley. Clearance of the site took several years; the chimneys having to be dismantled brick-by-brick, with the final storage tanks and foundations being cleared in 2003[3].


References & Notes

  1. "Oil—A Study of War-time Policy and Administration" (D. Payton-Smith 1971) ISBN 978-0-11-630074-4
  2. Poor valley – The Hastings Chronicle, accessdate: 19 January 2021
  3. BBC NEWS | England | Southern Counties | Power station site cleared, accessdate: 16 November 2020