Barking Power Station

Barking Power Station from the air

Barking Power Station from the air

Barking A Power Station was built in 1925 to replace the older, Barking Power Station which had been in operation since 1897.

The new, coal-fired power station  “A” was opened by King George V , accompanied by Queen Mary, on 19th May 1925. It provided electricity for large parts of Essex and Kent. By the time it was completed it was the largest power station in the whole of Europe with a total output of 100 megawatts of electricity. It was joined by Station “B” in 1939. A third station, “C”, was built in 1954 and closed 17 years later, in 1981.

The power station was built at Creekmouth, along the River Thames. This position afforded easy access to the coal ships bringing deliveries to the station from the northern coalfields.  It escaped any serious bombing during the war, partly due to the smoke from its chimneys obscuring the buildings. Fortuitously, the thick smoke from the chimneys also helped protect the nearby Ford car factory.

Work at the power station was heavy, dirty and dangerous and therefore did not employ female workers.

The huge chimneys of Barking Power Station

The huge chimneys of Barking Power Station

Redundancy

The power station was decommissioned in the 1970s when a redundancy program began. It  finally closed in 1981 and has since been almost completely demolished. Dagenham Sunday Market is now on the site, being crowded with shoppers and bargain hunters every Sunday, come rain or shine. The whole area is part of Barking Riverside Development Plan for riverside housing. The new Barking Power Station is further downriver at Chequers Road, Dagenham.

Source: Local Studies. Wikipedia.