With the premier of the second episode of Crack the Surface screening in London and the January exams finished, Millhouse Fishbrain and myself set off to London with a list of places to visit. As it turned out Barking Power Station was to be the only successful explore of the weekend, with the other attempts resulting in rather entertaining fails.
Barking Power Station refers to a series of power stations located at former and current sites in East London, within the Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The original site, on the North bank of the River Thames on River Road, was home to the coal-fired Stations A (opened 1925), B (opened 1939) and C (opened 1954). These stations were decommissioned by the end of the 1980s and have since been demolished, leaving the Barking East 33kV Switch House, the Control Room and Office Block, and the interconnecting cable tunnels still intact.
We first climbed into the Switch House, located on the site of the dagenham outdoor market. Considering the buildings have been abandoned for three decades now, the control room was still in a great condition. After having a quick look at the turbine and battery room, involving some mad skill monkey bar access, we set off to find the cable tunnels which we believed would connect to the office block housing the second control room.
Even with a map showing the access points we could not gain access, we would realise later that they had been filled in. So instead we headed into the neighbouring container yard, running and hiding between the sky high container stacks, making our way towards the building, only to find a wall of containers separating us from a separate yard with the building on that site.
Retracing the route, we went back to the road to get straight onto the other yard. After a near run into two security guys and subsequently hiding in a bush for a good half hour we finally got in just as the sun was setting.