From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Hams Hall Power Station Control Room

Power Station
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Hams Hall Power Station Control Room is located at Hams Hall near Birmingham,Warwickshire. A series of power stations were built on the grounds of the former Hall.

Charles Bowyer Adderley, 1st Baron Norton PC (Privy Council) inherited Hams Hall from his great uncle in 1826. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1838. In 1841, he entered the House of Commons as a conservative member of parliament for North Staffordshire. A successful career in politics saw him sworn into the privy council and retained his seat until 1878, when he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Norton, of Norton-on-the-Moors in the County of Stafford. He died in 1905.

Hams Hall was then purchased by an American shipping magnate and was eventfully dismantled in 1921 to be rebuilt as Bledisloe Lodge, a hall of residence for students at the Royal College of Agriculture, at Coates near Cirencester in Gloucestershire and is now a private residence. Descendants of the Adderleys now live in Fillongley Hall.

Birmingham City bought the land to build a power station. The power station was built by Richard Chattock who was Birmingham Cities electrical engineer in 1928. With the construction of two more power stations they became known as Hams Hall A, B and C respectively. The power stations were nationalised in the late 1940's and the Central Electricity Generating Board took over responsibility for the site from Birmingham and founded an environmental studies centre.

Hams Hall A opened in 1929 and was able to produce 90,000 kilowatts of electricity but was increased to 240,000 kw's at a later date, it was the reported as the largest power producing station in Europe. The station was also the first power station in the United Kingdom to burn pulverised coal, rather than lumps of coal. It was also used as a prototype site for the installation of gas turbines in coal-fired plants. Water for the station was cooled by six reinforced concrete hyperbolic cooling towers. The station's closure was announced in 1975, following a fall in electricity consumption and the station's chimneys and cooling towers were demolished in 1978.

Hams Hall C was built in the mid 1950's and was commissioned by 1958. Six generators produced 357,000 kw's. The power station was used in experiments using natural gas and was considered to be converted to full gas use in 1968 but problems with the coal industry stopped these plans from being carried out. Two years later in 1970 talks with the National Coal Board and the National Union of Mineworkers, resulted in the station using coal and natural gas. The station closed in 1992 after being taken over by Powergen two years previous. The two chimneys and three cooling towers were demolished at night on 15 December 1993.

The land was cleared and an industrial park was built. A control room sits alone at the end of the park, its future is unknown.