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Persimmon Homes

Photography winner captures demolition of iconic cooling towers

02 September 2014

The moment Didcot’s iconic 323ft cooling towers were brought to the ground in a matter of seconds has been perfectly captured by the winner of our photographic competition.

Persimmon Homes Wessex launched the contest after the date was announced for the demolition in late July. The cooling towers could be seen from their Great Western Park development and the framed winning picture will now take pride of place in their sales office for all to see.

The winner, Chris Turner, said she was determined to take a picture of the moment the towers came down because they had become such a landmark throughout her life. She said: “Like many people in Didcot, I grew up with the power station and the cooling towers - they were always just there. It was our ‘nearly home’ landmark, both for me as a child and later on for my own family.

“I spent a few very happy years working there, driving into the site every morning, past those gentle giants in full steam. When I heard the news that a date had been set for the South Towers to be demolished, I absolutely knew I had to be there to see it. We spent a few evenings driving around to try to find the best vantage point.

“The demolition team did an amazing job - it was literally all over in about 10 seconds. It was the oddest thing to see the towers begin to collapse inwards before we even heard the explosions. It was also quite an emotional moment, with tears as well as cheers for some of the many people who had stayed up all night to see it.

“I had set up my camera on its tripod, with a remote shutter release, because I wanted to actually see the demolition as well as hopefully capture some images. After a few hours' sleep, I had the opportunity to view the images I'd taken and was pleased to see that I had got some reasonably good pictures - my personal record of the demolition.Obviously I did not expect to win the competition, but thought it would be fun to take part. Naturally I'm really excited to have had my image selected as the winning entry.”

Pauline Fletcher, sales and marketing director for Persimmon Homes Wessex, said: “We wanted to launch the competition because the demolition was such an historic moment for Didcot. We were delighted with the entries we received, but Chris’s photograph easily stood out as the winner. To capture such an amazing picture in just a few seconds is amazing and we believe it will be a real feature in our sales office.”

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