Saturday, 26 September 2015

Just for the record

The two coal towers of Cockenzie Power Station will meet their end today.   At high noon.  Whoosh!  They will be there one minute, gone the next.  News of their demise has even featured in the national press.  It's an interesting article, and worth a read.

At 149 metres high, they have featured along the East Lothian coastline since 1967, when the power station opened,  It is fair to say they do dominate, but theirs is a presence I have developed a huge affection for.  I know I am not alone and it is hard to explain why.  Maybe it bears out the adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
A couple of years ago, I spent a day trying to draw the two chimneys, and the series of buildings around them, with part of the little harbour at Cockenzie in the foreground.  It's a crude attempt, but it's my own record.  As I sat there, an old fisherman shambled across to look over my shoulder.  He then started on his lament for the chimneys, which have guided him and his colleagues safely home from their fishing trips.  The harr, a cold sea fog which occasionally envelopes the Firth of Forth, can disorientate, but the chimneys have been their guiding landmark. So these two towers are an important part of the community too.

Slowly the complex is being demolished, laying the base of the chimneys bare.  You can see them from the coastal path.  Mr Gaucho and I went for a wander, to take photos, and record the chimneys, before they vanish from our skyline.  
The ever-present North Berwick Law in the distance.  At least they can't remove that!

They have a presence, which keeps drawing you in.  When I am driving into Edinburgh the power station sits off to the right of the A1.  I always look across, fleetingly, several times, as I pass.  
It's the same when I travel into town by train.  The chimneys are just there.  It is hard to ignore them, and equally difficult to imagine the landscape without them!  
After taking as many photographs as one could possibly want to take of two huge chimneys, we walked back to the car.  But I found myself looking back over my shoulder.  I noticed Mr Gaucho doing the same.  

So, here is their last sunset, yesterday.  I didn't really want to see the chimneys demolished today, but having read the Guardian article, it makes the point that it is not often one can witness a change in the landscape with the press of a button.  We have charge of our two youngest grandsons this morning, so assuming there is nothing young boys like better than a bit of destruction, I thought we would go and find a decent vantage point, and watch the execution.

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