Power Behind Power
Will you or any of your readers know who owned Greenwich Power Station in the early 50s? My Grandad worked there and I would love to find out about the work he did there.
UK Power Networks who run the station were unable to help as the station has been owned by many companies over the years.
The Phantom replies:
I have a really terrible filing system for the Greenwich ephemera that people have been kind enough to pass my way over the years – basically it’s all nice and flat, protected in bits of plastic and in no order whatsoever. One of these days I’ll properly file it but for now it’s just seven box files of bits of paper, so it took a while this morning to track down the two documents I knew I had somewhere…
And after all that, annoyingly for this question all the literature I have about the power station focuses on the technical side of it rather than the history. Fascinating though it is (and at least it reminded me to write to TFL to see if I can get permission to PDF-ise two documents – the properly-published Modernisation of Greenwich Generating Station from 1971 and the rather less official mimeographed 1974 London Transport Executive Greenwich Generating Station – I’ve had no response in the past, so don’t hold your breath…) it’s not much good for dates and historical facts.
So the short answer is that as far as I know it was owned by London Transport, or whatever they were called at that time. Certainly it was run for the trams, but whether LT actually owned the building or not I just can’t tell. Peter – do you know anything about this?
My best suggestion (other than to pick Peter’s brain…) is to ask Greenwich Industrial History Society and I did find this little article which, although it doesn’t mention any owners, does seem to imply that it was LT themselves.
But I am very grateful to know about UK Power Networks. After years of trying to get TFL to open the power station for Open House, I now have someone new to badger. It tops the wish-list every year – and I still live in hope that one of these days we’ll get it opened for tours…