The demolition of Grain chimney from Canvey Leigh Beck
Grain chimney viewed from Canvey Leigh Beck, minutes before its demolition
Canvey Leigh Beck
Grain A Power Station chimney on the Isle of Grain, Kent, has dominated the skylines of the Thames Estuary since 1979, and has been a useful waypoint for boats as well as an interesting feature on the horizon for many in Southend.
After the demolition of three boiler houses last year, it was well known that the demolition of the chimney was taking place this September, so many people were planning to gather at vantage points along the edge of the estuary. I chose my point carefully, in order to avoid any other people who might interrupt the recording by cheering, clapping or idle chit chat. So, I went to the end of Canvey Leigh Beck, on a foot path as near to the edge of the island as I could get. I could see a group of people on the sea wall but none ventured along the path, thankfully.
Visibility was reasonably poor, but that didn’t hinder the sound at all. A dredger (I think) made its way slowly up the river, crossing the frame from left to right, and at 11am, on the dot, the chimney exploded and fell straight to the ground in a huge cloud of dust. There was about a 5 second delay between the visual and the audible.