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Meaford Power Station - Wikipedia

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Meaford Power Station was a coal-fired power station situated on the River Trent at Meaford near Stone in Staffordshire.


Meaford A[edit]

In June 1919, it was proposed that a 'joint power station' should be established in the Trentham or Barlaston areas to supply all of North Staffordshire.[1]

The North West Midlands Joint Electricity Authority (NWMJEA) was established in 1928 under the Electricity (Supply) Act 1919, taking over the existing power stations in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford.

Before the Meaford site was selected, in 1939 the North West Midlands Joint Electricity Authority considered a site further north, opposite Hem Heath Colliery, in Newstead, Stoke-on-Trent. The Joint Electricity Authority required a site for a 60MW power station near Stoke (as it was the largest consumer of electricity in the area), and where a supply of 1.5 million gallons of water a day could be obtained. The River Trent itself was too polluted, but suitably clean water could be obtained from the Stoke sewage works at Strongford, near Barlaston.[2]

On 2 March 1939, the NWMJEA decided to construct a power station at Meaford.[3] and after an enquiry in July 1939 an inquiry by the Electricity Commissioners agreed to the development.[4]

After delays caused by the Second World War, the North West Midlands Joint Electricity Authority began work on Meaford Power Station in 1945, with the structure being built by Dorman Long.[5]

The station was opened on 20 October 1947 by Manny Shinwell[6] - the first power station to come into operation after the war.[7] The station was known as Meaford A power station even before the B station was built,[7] as the proposal was always for two phases of construction.[3] It had a generating capacity of 120 megawatts (MW), comprising four 30 MW GEC turbo-alternators,[7] fed by boilers on a 'range system'. It had two brick 350 ft (110 m) tall chimneys, one at either end of the station, and two 250 ft (76 m) tall concrete cooling towers. The generating capacity, electricity production and thermal efficiency are shown in the table.[8][9][10]

Meaford A electricity capacity and output Year 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1961 1962 1963 1967 1971 Installed capacity, MW 112 112 112 112 112 120 120 120 120 120 Electricity output, GWh 826.82 841.39 803.58 759.69 577.01 494.6 444.1 439.1 405.6 397.20 Thermal efficiency, % 25.95 25.83 25.76 25.45 24.73 24.53 23.61 23.39 24.00 19.42

Generation ceased in 1974, and the station was completely demolished by 1982.

Powerlines stretch across the fields towards a former power station site that was Meaford Power Station.

Meaford B[edit]

Meaford B power station was located to the south of A station. The station was built using numerous main and sub-contractors to include G. Percy Trentham (excavations, roads, railway sidings, superstructure etc.), Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Co. (station steel frame), P.C. Richardson & Co. (chimney), Babcock & Wilcox (boiler plant), British Thomson-Houston (turbo-alternators) and many contractors.

Construction work on it began in 1951, with completion and formal opening on 4 October 1957. It was of 240 MW generating capacity, comprising four 60 MW British Thomson-Houston turbo alternators. These were initially rated at 65 MW, but later at 60 MW. Steam was provided by four Babcock & Wilcox boilers. These fed steam at 515,000 lbs per hour, with a steam temperature of 1,065 °F (566 °C) and 1,500 psi operating pressure. The station was built on the 'unit' or 'set' principle where one boiler fed one turbo alternator. It had one centrally placed, brick built chimney, which stood at 408 ft (124 m) tall. System water was cooled by three 250 ft (76 m) tall cooling towers. The station was of brick cladding construction over a steel frame, which supported the four boilers from the roof. Its design efficiency was 31.41%.

The station was initially operated by the Central Electricity Authority which three months after the formal opening became the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) on 1 January 1958, and the 'B' station was quite an efficient station for much of its life, and won a number of trophies within the board. Investment continued in the late 1980s, principally to reduce smoke and sulphur emissions. With the cessation of the CEGB as an entity on 31 March 1990, the B station was allocated to National Power - the larger of the two conventional power companies formed from the CEGB at privatisation. Generation continued through 1990, until late September that year, when it was announced that B station was to close imminently: i.e. when the coal in the bunkers on the station had run out. This occurred with the tripping of №2 unit at 13.00 hrs on 28 September 1990.

The generating capacity, electricity production and thermal efficiency are shown in the table.[8][9][11][12][10]

Meaford B electricity capacity and output Year 1957 1958 1960 1961 1962 1963 1967 1971 1979 1981 1982 Installed capacity, MW 112 224 244 240 250 260 240 240 240 224 224 Electricity output, GWh 479.48 963.46 1764.15 1405.11 1481.8 1350.7 1238.08 832.78 834.3 859.85 568.07 Thermal efficiency, % 29.00 30.02 30.33 30.12 29.73 29.20 29.13 27.17 20.95 26.98 27.52

The annual output of Meaford B in GWh was:

The five cooling towers were demolished in September 1991, followed by formal closure of the station on 1 October 1991. Demolition of the station then commenced, and was completed on 9 June 1996 with the felling of the chimney, which made the national television news that day.[13][14][15]

Two steam railway locomotives and two diesel railway locomotives are preserved at heritage railways in Northern England and the Midlands (Foxfield Light Railway).

The site is largely empty as of October 2020 apart from two operational 132kV substations (Barlaston & Meaford 'C') for Western Power Distribution, though some 'A' station buildings were occupied for business use, these have now been vacated and the buildings have now fallen into complete disrepair. The site is monitored 24/7 remotely using CCTV and motion detection systems.

The 28 September 2015 was the 25th anniversary of electricity being generated for the last time when №2 unit was tripped at 13:00 and the station went off-load for the final time.

A new company Meaford Energy Limited (MEL) has now submitted a DCO Application for the Meaford Energy Centre (MEC), a new combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station and its integral gas and electricity connections to be built on part of the site of the old power stations. The new Power Station is proposed to have a generating capacity of up to 299MWe. Meaford Energy Limited (MEL) is a joint venture between Glenfinnan and St. Modwen - the owners of the site.


  1. ^ "130,000,000 for Electricity". Staffordshire Sentinel. 7 June 1919. p. 4. ... it is proposed to have a new joint power station (probably in the Trentham and Barlaston neighbourhood) to supply North Staffordshire ...
  2. ^ "Objections to a Power Station". The Times. 7 June 1939. p. 13.
  3. ^ a b "New £2,500,000 Power Station". The Times. 3 March 1939. p. 11. A power station costing nearly £2,500,000 is to be built at Strongford, in the southern part of Stoke-on-Trent.
  4. ^ "Site for Power Station in the Midlands". The Times. 7 July 1939. p. 11.
  5. ^ "27 Power Stations". The Times. 28 August 1946. p. 3.
  6. ^ "Journalists' Reply to Mr. Shinwell: Unfair Reporting Denied". The Times. 21 October 1947. p. 3.
  7. ^ a b c "New Power Stations: Meaford". The Times. 25 February 1948. p. 10.
  8. ^ a b Garrett, Frederick C., ed. (1959). Garcke's Manual of Electricity Supply. 56. London: Electrical Press. pp. A-127-218.
  9. ^ a b CEGB Statistical Yearbook 1972. London: CEGB. 1972. p. 13.
  10. ^ a b GEGB Annual report and accounts, various years
  11. ^ CEGB (1981). CEGB Statistical Yearbook 1981. London: CEGB.
  12. ^ CEGB Statistical Yearbook 1981-82. London: CEGB. 1982. p. 7. ISBN 0902543695.
  13. ^ Meaford B Power Station. Central Electricity Authority. 1957.
  14. ^ Welcome to Meaford. CEGB. February 1964.
  15. ^ The CEGB story. CEGB. 30 March 1990.

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