Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Inverkip landmark to bite the dust on July 28 2013

While the haters will no doubt be dancing (naked?) around the ceremonial fires and sacrificial altars where they probably consigned various offerings to a bloody death as they invoked various incantations, the Black Arts,  and any number of mystical spells to make the chimney at the former Inverkip Power Station disappear, I won’t be joining them.

For those who want to witness the loss, then they need to be in sight of the action which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 28, 2013, at 10 pm (22:00 just to be sure.)

Via Final part of Inverkip Power Station to be demolished – Local Headlines – The Buteman

Also Demolition date for Inverkip Power Station chimney

Caught with the Waverly passing, from Zak’s excellent collection of images from Bute: Zak’s Photo Galleries at

Described as Scotland’s tallest free-standing structure, and the third tallest in the UK (until the 28th, at least), it rose to 236 m (778 feet) and was described as having some 1.4 million bricks and 20,000 tonnes of concrete within its walls. All seemed good reason to for keeping it, and if we listen to the Green Loonies, then this act of mindless destruction will produce a mass of pollution, waste energy, and create a huge pile of spoil to be dealt with. A task that will consume yet more energy to grind the result of the demolition into aggregate, as seems to be the norm.

Come to think of it, I pass a large pile of such material every day I go to the shops. Created when an office block was demolished, the resulting pile of crushed debris has lain untouched on the abandoned site for months. Maybe they left it there for the next occupant, to save them transporting aggregate… to build another office block.

While Scotland has become a tourist industry in recent years, I can’t help but feel that there’s no real innovation in the thinking of those responsible for bringing increasing numbers of tourists – and their wallets of course – to the country. They call for a 50% increase in the money taken out of those tourists’ wallets by 2015 (sorry, that seemed to change to 2016 while I wasn’t looking), yet offer little new to attract them. And a look through this blog will show that they don’t do much to support existing attractions, as I think I write too often about places closing, generally due to lack of funding or investment. Whether that’s down to them being unpopular, or badly managed/promoted is a moot point – all to often the notice of closure seems to bring about a campaign and lots of complaints about the closure. Seems nobody cares until it’s too late, and the places are heading to the wall, then there’s outrage.

I sometimes consider the drive to get people to come here is driven by too many ‘Old Men’ (and women). I might add I don’t mean that merely in the ageist sense, but in the way their heads work. There’s a lack of innovation and a tendency to rely on anything that grows from ‘Heather and Tartan’, and drives visitors into hotels. Traditional tourism venues get promoted, and I seem to recall hotels were all adding aromatherapy and corporate event facilities in the mid noughties onward, only to find they were largely ignored.

We had news of a castle owner adding a mini-tank driving facility in the grounds of a castle he is trying to raise money to restore. Instead of support, he was criticised for bringing something “Out of character” to the grounds around the castle ruin. Presumably allowing the castle to continue to decay due to lack of funds until it becomes a pile of rubble is more acceptable to the locals, and “In character.”

I see the demolition of the Inverkip chimney as a lost opportunity.

To build such a thing today would be out of any attraction builders’ pocket (unless they were an American billionaire megalomaniac who thinks he owns Scotland and could build a golf course on it while abusing the locals).

But it would be ideal to turn into a viewpoint, with the view it already has along the Firth of Clyde and the surrounding lands – and unlike Glasgow’s embarrassing shame seen the shape of the Glasgow Tower, it’s not likely to break down and be deemed so unsafe that no-one could ever ascend it.

There’s also the extreme sports and adventure types, who I am sure could come up with ways to use it as a climbing tower. For those who don’t appreciate the scale of this chimney, it’s huge. Climbers could use the outside in good weather, while the interior could be kitted out for use when the weather wasn’t quite so good – a handy option to have in Scotland.

I can’t help but think that if this chimney was overseas, or in Russia or the Ukraine for example, then it would be turned into something productive.



July 23, 2013 - Posted by | Civilian | , , , ,

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