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Hundreds of onlookers take to the hills to watch Ironbridge cooling towers demolition

By Rory Smith | Ironbridge | News | Published:

Crowds fell eerily silent as four pink towers fell to the ground and shook the Ironbridge Gorge.

The towers mid-demolition. Photo: Joe Moule

Onlookers witnessed a moment in history as they viewed the demolition of the power station's cooling towers from the top of hills, gaps in hedgerows and breaks in surrounding tree lines.

Hundreds of people gathered at Home Farm in Buildwas, where owners John and Jenny Morgan invited members of the public and press to see the crumbling spectacle while raising money for a new village hall.

Having spent more than two decades living in the shadows of the tours, Jenny said it was a moment she had been anticipating for months.

"We've had the towers as neighbours for 25 years, we knew they wouldn't last forever so we just accepted they would soon be no more," she said.

"I stood on the mound with my family and we saw it come down together, it was remarkable.

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"The way they came down, followed by the bang, then they just disappeared into a puff of smoke – they took so many years to build and they were gone within an instant."

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Ryan Harrison decided the occasion was just too good to pass up and travelled on the train from Coventry, missing a university lecture to attend.

The 21-year-old from Oswestry said: "Everyone here obviously had the opportunity to come today and if you've got that opportunity to see something like this you just have to take it," he said.

"I'm missing a seminar for this but it'll no doubt be worth it.

"I think a lot of people will miss them but I think it'll be good to see them go. They're an icon landmark but I don't think that in itself means they should stay."

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A thundering bang broke the silence of spectators and in a matter of seconds, there was nothing but pink dust clouds looming in the Ironbridge sky.

Lesley Titley, 73, of Ironbridge, remembers the day they were built and said it was an emotional moment to see them go.

Minutes after the explosion which took down the towers that have dominated the landscape for more than 50 years, Mrs Titley said: "I just can't believe they have gone.

"I must admit I'm a little sadder than I expected myself to be. I've grown up around them and we've grown old together, it's almost like losing a familiar face among the town, but I suppose we live in a changing world and change we must."

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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