The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Chapelcross Demolition

Chapelcross Cooling Towers Demolition
(Chapelcross Cooling Towers Demolition - click for larger image)

Rogan and I were up at 6am to have breakfast, check maps and road reports, then head out to Chapelcross - the site of one of Britain’s oldest nuclear power plants, decommissioned three years ago.

The reason for this excursion at such an ungodly hour of a Sunday morning was to witness the demolition of the four cooling towers, which dominate the landscape for about 30 miles in every direction.

The roads that run closest to the plant were closed off, so all the back roads were chock-a-block with people trying to find a good view. Eventually we discovered a place close enough to get out the car and walk a few hundred yards to a spot where all four towers were in sight.

The next decision was whether to try and video the event or take photos instead. Rogan opted to film it on his camera while I took a rapid succession of shots, hoping that at least one of them would come out.

Of course I was so busy clicking away I essentially missed the event: the whole thing was over in a matter of 10 seconds. However I have been able to relive it through the photos.

Suitably cropped and desaturated I was rather pleased to end up with the photo above (worth clicking on for a larger version). I also discovered that putting together the rest of the photos in sequence made a rather nifty photomontage of the event (see below).

And I’m pleased to report that Rogan felt that in the end it had been worth the early start and hour’s drive each way.

I think it might just have ended up as one of those father-son bonding things you hear about.


Mary Witzl said...

Wow, I'm impressed! And I didn't even know that this was scheduled to happen. I really must get out more, or failing that, start paying closer attention to The Scotsman.

I wonder what will happen to that site now...For some reason, I have always found those cooling towers rather sinister and I can't say that I'm sorry to see them go. Too bad about the jobs, though.

Rhonda said...

Wow, that was impressive . . .

Sayre said...

Wow - that was amazing! Thanks. I like the way the last one bulged out before sucking in for the explosion. That was pretty cool.

savannah said...

wicked cool! a friend of mine was in las vegas for the implosion of the sands hotel...wildly impressive!

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Very cool. Destruction can be impressive in ways that construction just can't match for ooooooooooo factor.

Eryl Shields said...

Very impressed yo got up so early on a sunday.

I'll rather miss those towers. As someone who gets lost going to the corner shop megalithic landmarks have something of the comforting about them.

BStrong said...

Good job my freind. I said take pictures of NUDES not NUKES!

Well done.

Carole said...

The video was interesting. The fact that you got up early to go see the implosion impressive. Taking your son with you, to see history in the making powerful. Good job. So many moments are once in a lifetime opportunities. Most Excellent

Kim Ayres said...

Mary - I saw somthing about it in the Dumfries Courier a few weeks back, then promptly forgot all about it until by chance I caught a mention on Border News

Rhonda - strangely enough it's more impressive on video than it was in real life. I watched several of the videos that made it on to YouTube and in a few you can hear voices in the background saying "was that it?"

Sayre - I think it looked even more impressive from the other side, judging by other videos I saw of the event

Savannah - I've seen a few videos of Las Vegas demolitions, full of fireworks and spectacle - really impressive

Sam - did you fantasize about being a demolition expert when you were a kid too?

Eryl - the four towers of the apocalypse they were known as by some

Brian - well, I send you some nude pics if you really want, but I warn you, I'm not that attractive without my clothes

Carole - I admit I seriously toyed with the idea of getting a bit of extra sleep instead, but in the end figured that when I look back, I'll remember events like this more than I'll remember a Sunday morning lie-in

Kanani said...

So now tell me... does Scotland have a power being generated by other nuclear plants? We have four in California and they're all by the sea. There are others that have been decommissioned and are slated for tear down in 2008.

There are also more people interested in solar, though due to the high cost of installation (they quoted me $15,000!), most people cannot afford it. If I don't buy a car, I can probably swing the payment BUT my bill this month was $79.61.

I figure solar won't go mainstream until they can figure out a way to make it cheap enough to see in do it yourself kits at Home Depot.

Belovedlife said...

That was cool, Leave it to my hubby to make crazy commetns...perhaps you should send him along some NUDE pics...that'll teach him to be a smarty pants...
Love the toothless look..perhaps you might try out for the new polydent commercial, B is going to try out for the new Rogaine line they are coming out with ;) JUST KIDDING HONEY!
I hear B is coming to visit you...I guesss that mean I get my trip to Florida?

Kim Ayres said...

Kanani - I'm afraid I don't know a great deal about the state of nuclear power in Scotland, although I'm pretty certain there are at least a couple of other plants.

Wind farms seem to be cropping up around the country these days, although there's always controversy surrounding them as the locals thing it spoils the view and for the cost, they don't produce that much

Belovedlife - thanks for popping by. If you know any dental practices that would like to use me in a commercial, I'll do it in exchange for free dental treatment and my flight over. Then I can also help B look after the kids while you're in Florida :)

avocadoinparadise said...

Awesome! I'm glad they blew them up in order. How nice for the photos. And I'm glad they blew them up. Period.

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