The toppling of a Solway icon
Produced by Mark Robertson
Sunday 20th May saw the end of an era as the four cooling towers of the Chapelcross nuclear power station were brought to the ground in a series of earth shattering explosions.
The Chapelcross cooling towers
A cool clear day brought hundreds of people to the south west of Scotland to witness a rare and very unusual site - the blowdown of the four massive cooling towers at Chapelcross.
These "Sentinels of the Solway" had stood guard for nearly 50 years, almost double their expected life span, cooling the waters used by the power station.
As the clock crept towards 9:00am, the hour of destruction, a party atmosphere developed, people laughed and joked, the whole village of Creca had turned out to witness the end of their over-sized neighbour.
With ten seconds to go a siren sounds out, letting the area know that this is the end ... A cheer raises as people see the first tower start to collapse, then the sound hits - with a physical blow to the body, and another, and another, and another.
Then the world changed colour - white dust blew across the land where we stood, coating everyone and everything, making eyes water and people choke ... but some of this was more emotion than dust.
For some the towers at Chapelcross were like old friends, a sign of home and the sight of their destruction was more than they could bare - tears rolled down cheeks and friends hugged each other in sympathy and relief.
And the future; there's still much more work to do on the site of Chapelcross, at least ten year's worth. And with government now looking to the nuclear industry for future power stations, Chapelcross' future may not lay in a twisted pile of concrete and iron.
last updated: 13/05/2008 at 14:02