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Gone in a flash. Didcot power station's massive chimneys come tumbling down

In a cloud of smoke and with a thunderous blast three historic towers were demolished today after dominating the Thames Valley's skyline for more than four decades.

The three southern towers of Didcot A power station in Oxfordshire were brought down by nearly 400lbs (180kg) of explosives in a matter of seconds. Hundreds of local residents were up all night to get the best vantage point to see the towers come tumbling down

The decision to demolish the towers in the early hours of the morning angered some locals, with a petition to change the timing gaining more than 3,000 signatures. Didcot town council had also expressed its disappointment but npower said the timeslot between 3am and 5am had been chosen for safety reasons, taking into account the risk of people getting too close to the explosion, and the impact of the dust cloud on local roads and a nearby rail line.

Warning sirens were sounded 15 and then 10 minutes before the explosion at 5am. During the build-up to the explosion #DidcotDemolition was trending on Twitter, and one Oxfordshire resident said: "This has gotta be Didcot's most momentous occasion since we won the FA vase".

The coal-fired power station ceased generating in March last year after dominating the skyline around the town since 1970, with the neighbouring gas-fired Didcot B continuing. The towers' appearance was not universally appreciated with many people finding them an eyesore. Whtaever your point of view, the journey along the A34 will never look the same.


Misery for motorists due to major delays on M25


On the M25 anti-clockwise between junctions J20 and J12, there are currently delays of 50 mins due to heavy tra...


Long delays on M25 Dartford Crossing anticlockwise at A282, Dartford River Crossing toll booths. Travel time is around an hour and 10 miNS


Major disruption to all South West Trains routes

Following a lightning strike in the Surbiton area no trains are able to run beyond Surbiton travelling away from London. Customer will have to use alternative routes.

We also have signalling problems at London Waterloo meaning fewer trains are able to run in this area too.

It has been necessary to significantly reduce the service and there will be further alterations beyond the service plan below.

Trains between London Waterloo and Dorking will not be running in either direction - Customers will need to use alternative trains to Epsom and change there for Southern services, or join Southern services from London Victoria/Clapham Junction.

Trains between London Waterloo and Shepperton will run via an alternative route and will not call at stations between Earlsfield and Strawberry Hill.

Trains between London Waterloo and Hampton Court will not be running in either direction - Customers will need to use London Buses (Please refer to the alternative travel map at

Trains between London Waterloo and Exeter/Salisbury will only run between Basingstoke and Exeter/Salisbury - Customers will need to take the first service to Basingstoke and change there to complete your journey, please be advised that connections cannot be guaranteed.

Trains between London Waterloo and Guildford via Cobham will make an additional stop at Berrylands.

London bound trains from Weymouth will all call at Basingstoke, Woking and Clapham Junction.

Trains from London Waterloo to Portsmouth via Basingstoke that leave London Waterloo at 9 minutes past the hour will now depart at 20 minutes past each hour and will not call at Farnborough Main or Fleet - Customers for Farnborough and Fleet will need to use alternative services towards Basingstoke.

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