And this was exactly what myself, my partner Ben and several other football ground enthusiasts had the pleasure of witnessing last weekend. What a spectacular and unique sight!
I had watched a game previously at Ravenhill Park early 2020, which you may or may not remember from this blog post and I already thought that was a fantastic experience, especially with a rainbow popping up over the towers towards the end of the match. Having done a little research into the towers since, I discovered that they were to be demolished. Sadly, this is happening to most cooling towers up and down the country once the power station is decommissioned, often to make way for houses. I say 'sadly' here, because personally I adore the architecture of the things and find them really iconic.
I kept a close watch on when this date might be by Googling it every month or so (totally normal behaviour) as I had been keen to watch a demolition for a while (more normal behaviour), as I was slightly frustrated that I missed the Iron Bridge cooling tower demolition a few years ago.
The date and time were finally confirmed as 11am on Sunday 6th June 2021. This also coincided with a home game for Sunday league side Brereton Lion. I honestly didn't think the game would go ahead at this location as it might have been in the exclusion zone, but as the date drew closer, it became apparent that the fixture would go ahead at said venue.
As a Brereton Lion home game was off the week before due to the away team not being able to raise a team (these things happen all the time in Sunday league), driving the 88 mile journey down felt a little risky. Neither of the teams have a social media presence, so the match being on was never confirmed, other than that what was stated on fixture website Full Time FA. We decided to persist, because either way we would get to see a demolition, the football match being a bonus.
We were delighted when arriving at the ground to see that the game was on. Then we just had to wait. And wait some more. And then wait again. It was slightly delayed, tension and nerves mounting (I did not want to mess up these photographs)!
Within around 10 seconds they were gone. The game momentarily paused as the towers crumbled, then carried on like nothing happened. The game finished 1-3 (Dormans being the away side).
I doubt I'll ever witness anything like this again and for so many things to align to get these photographs, it really was spectacular and something I will never forget.