Mixed Emotions Over Demolition Of Twin Chimneys

Mixed Emotions Over Demolition Of Twin Chimneys

Two power station chimneys described as "sculptural, attractive art" will today be demolished.

After dominating the skyline on the banks of the Firth of Forth for decades, the grey concrete chimneys at Cockenzie Power Station will be brought down at noon.

The collapse of the iconic structures near Edinburgh has divided opinion.

Among those lamenting the disappearance of the 495ft-high landmarks is the local MP for East Lothian, George Kerevan of the SNP. 

He told Sky News: "I would keep the chimneys. They are sculptural, they are attractive art.  When you arrive back in East Lothian, you know you are here when you see them.

"Above all, they are tremendous Scottish industrial heritage, we keep destroying our heritage. It's our manufacturing, our industrial background, we should keep it forever."

Scottish Power, which owns the Cockenzie site, has ruled out preserving the chimneys because of maintenance costs & the fact that the land they are built on needs to made available for alternative use. The power station building beneath the chimneys will be removed following today's explosion.

Prior to demolition, the bases of both chimneys have been weakened on one side. The plan is that, when the explosives are detonated, both chimneys will fall towards each other.

Thousands of people are expected to line the shores of the Firth of Forth to witness the spectacle. They will include former Cockenzie employees – a workforce watching the old workplace disappear in dust.

Jack Matthews, 77, worked at Cockenzie Power Station from when it opened in 1967 until 1996.

He told Sky News: "Cockenzie was cutting edge in its time. We provided flexible energy… people were supplied with power on demand, when they needed it.

"The chimneys will be missed as a landmark. If you're in a plane, you know you're coming back into Edinburgh, that you're coming home, when you see the chimneys down below.

"Boats will miss them, too, as a reference point… you can find your way to Cockenzie harbour without a compass, just look for the chimneys.

"It'll be sad to see them go but, given that they've come to the end of their life, I think it's right that they should be brought down."

Source: “Sky News”