This is one of those places that I’ve known about for ages, but I always seemed to be passing on a weekday when the site was busy – so, hearing that demolition was imminent, I headed out before dawn on Easter Sunday to finally have a look around.
Paper mills have been sited on the River Carron for over 200 years, and two earlier mills at Carrongrove dated back to at least 1840. I’m not sure when the latest mill dated from, but some construction pictures date from 1910. The mill was bought by Inveresk (owners of Caldwell’s Mill in Inverkeithing, previously reported on) in 1924, but it was caught up in the same downturn in the paper market, and closed at the end of 2005.
A planning proposal was submitted in 2006 to demolish the mill and built a housing development, and the mill itself is now all gone. What remains is the power station – a paper mill requires as much power as a small town, so a two-boiler coal-fired power station was built on the site. It’s a lovely little power station, quite home-made in places compared to a big power station like Inverkip, but that adds to the charm.
This is the view from outside:
Going through old stuff while updating this website, I realised that I’d completely forgotten to do a report on a couple of Inverkip visits.
A couple of night shots:
I hate leaving loose ends, so the blurry through-the-glass shot of the control room I got last visit really wasn’t good enough. So, when some other people wanted to make an early-morning visit, how could I resist?
The control desks are absolutely mint:
A few days after my very wet first visit, we returned in blazing sunshine for a second potter about – even took a packed lunch this time…
Inverkip power station, built in 1970, is a classic white elephant – by the time of the 1973 oil crisis, the idea of an oil-fired power station was looking slightly daft, and the station only briefly reached it’s full 1900MW capacity during the miner’s strikes of 1984/85. The station was mothballed in 1988.
Oddly, the power station itself and the woods around it are still classed as greenbelt, however there are plans to demolish the power station in 2009, to replace it with housing.
After a brief look about outside in the rain…