Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tinsley Towers, Sheffield

Sheffield Videos

Tinsley Towers: The Demolition of Sheffield Icons

The M1 viaduct is one of Sheffield’s most prominent landmarks. Moreso once upon a time due to the adjacent pair of cooling towers that the viaduct respectfully curved around.

The Tinsley Cooling Towers were left standing for safety reasons after the demolition of the old Blackburn Meadows Power Station, following its closure in 1980.

Towers too dangerous to demolish

The M1 sweeps around the Tinsley Towers.
The M1 sweeps around the Tinsley Towers. Attribution: polandeze/Flickr (CC-BY)

The cooling towers were initially deemed too dangerous to demolish. At their closest point the behemoths stood just 12 meters from the twin-decked motorway viaduct.

Over time the monoliths became iconic. Sheffielders often recalled ‘knowing they were home’ when seeing the towers whilst travelling back to the city on the M1. Some locals nicknamed the Towers the “Sheffield Sisters”.

  • Tinsley Towers Sheffield T-Shirt, Sky Blue
    Tinsley Towers Organic Cotton T-Shirt | Sheffield Art by James
    £20.00£25.00
  • Sheffield Icons Neck Gaiter: Multi Purpose Morf/Buff (Face Covering/Scarf/Snood)
    £15.00
  • Tinsley Towers Sheffield Mug
    Tinsley Towers Mug | Sheffield Art by James
    £10.00
  • Sheffield Icons Tube Socks (One Size)
    Sheffield Icons Tube Socks
    £12.50

Their iconic status — and the seemingly prohibitive costs of demolishing the towers safely — looked to have cemented the towers in Sheffield’s future as much as they were a part of its history. However, owner of the tower (and the now-demolished power station) E.ON UK, stated its intention to demolish them once the strengthening of the viaduct made it feasible.

Campaigns to keep Tinsley Towers

Sentimental locals started a campaign to retain the Tinsley Towers in some form.

Plans were made to turn them into some form of public art. Other schemes for the towers included conversion to a concert hall, skate parks and a theme park. But none of the ideas ever made it far into the planning stage.

The structures were given a short reprieve after being chosen as a nesting site by a rare bird.

Silhouette of Tinsley Towers by the M1
Silhouette of Tinsley Towers by the M1. Attribution: James Almond/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Early morning demolition

The 250 feet (76 m) towers were demolished at 3AM BST on 24 August 2008. However, a significant portion of the north tower remained standing for a short while.

The demolition attracted widespread attention. A viewing platform was set up in the car parks of nearby Meadowhall Shopping Centre so the public could watch the towers fall. Others gathered on surrounding hills to get a good look.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

E.ON UK now use part of the site for a new biomass power station.

The Demolished Tinsley Towers
The Demolished Tinsley Towers. Attribution: 0742/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  • Mardy Bum (Arctic Monkeys) T-Shirt, Sky Blue
    Mardy Bum (Arctic Monkeys) Organic Cotton T-Shirt
    £20.00£25.00
  • Sheffield Coordinates T-Shirt
    Sheffield Coordinates Organic Cotton T-Shirt
    £20.00£25.00
  • Made in Sheffield Organic T-Shirt
    £20.00£25.00
  • Tinsley Towers Sheffield T-Shirt, Sky Blue
    Tinsley Towers Organic Cotton T-Shirt | Sheffield Art by James
    £20.00£25.00

Discover the very best of the Steel City with The Sheffield Guide Newsletter!

Sign up now to receive occasional updates from The Sheffield Guide. All the latest Steel City information direct to your inbox!

Free to subscribe. No-spam guarantee. Unsubscribe at any time.


Written By

Founder and editor of The Sheffield Guide. A lifelong Sheffielder with a local pride that lovingly crafts each and every piece created. Discover the very best of the Steel City with The Sheffield Guide.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Basket

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Sheffield Lifestyle

The results of Sheffield’s Governance Referendum announces change to way the Council is run. Sheffield Votes For Change in Referendum Sheffield has overwhelmingly voted...

Sheffield Lifestyle

New study seeking Sheffield volunteers aims to identify new treatments for Covid. Sheffield Covid Study Volunteers Required A new pop-up blood donation centre in...

Sheffield Blog

Sheffield City Council moves to ‘No Overall Control’ after Labour loses out in the Local Elections. Leader of the Council Bob Johnson loses his...

Sheffield Lifestyle

Take part in a new game designed to encourage active travel whilst exploring Sheffield. Beat The Street in Sheffield this Summer! A new game...

Advertisement
0