NOSTALGIA: Sandwiches 100ft up as legs dangled over edge of Portsmouth chimney

Demolition of the generating rooms in 1982. Geoff Witte recalls: 'All roads around the site were closed and the dust cloud resulting from the falling debris floated like a blanket over Old Portsmouth. By 1983 all signs of the building had disappeared.'

On Sunday, March 20, 1977,the Central Electricity Generating Board disconnected Portsmouth’s contribution to the National Grid, ending 83 years of electricity generation.

The power station in St Mary Street, Old Portsmouth, opened in 1894 and the Blue Bell Tavern, the South of England Music Hall plus several houses, were demolished to make way for it.

Portsmouth Power Station: demolition in 1981'of the north generator room.

In 1955 it contributed 475,901,000 units of electricity to the National Grid and 172,000 tons of coal were delivered each year for its 13 boilers.

The end for the colossal land/seamark building came in 1981 and reader Geoff Witte from Rowlands Castle took the photos on this page recording its demise.

He says: ‘I lived in Warblington Street under the shadow of the building and watched the demolition.

‘In 1981 the two chimneys were demolished brick by brick and I recall the men having their lunch 100ft-plus in the air with their legs hanging over the side at the top of the chimneys – quite fearless.’

The north chimney in 1981. Geoff Witte says: 'In the foreground is the old bonded warehouse used by the Mary Rose Trust to store goods and conserve effects.

He adds: ‘In the next 18 months the generating rooms were partly dismantled and finally demolished with explosives.’

The south chimney in 1981, gradually coming down brick by brick.

The collier Pompey Power arriving at her dock opposite the power station. (Barry Cox collection) PPP-160111-151411001

Portsmouth Power Station in Gunwharf Road in March 1973 PP465 ENGPPP00120130523095338

... and here it is in all its glory. For those who do not remember, it's hard to believe the dominance Portsmouth power station once had over Old Portsmouth.

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