Tilbury Hailing and Power Stations

03 Sep 2023

Tilbury Hailing and Power Stations, Oil on Canvas, 220 cm x 185 cm

Looking East towards the North Sea from Tilbury Fort at the end of the 1970’s, one could see this historical landscape. The little red and white hut perched on top of a skewed pillbox was the Collier Hailing or Signaling Station and the 4 huge chimneys belonged to both Tilbury A & Tilbury B Coal Fired Power Stations. In the Millennium year 2000, I went sketching in Tilbury. Looming large above Tilbury Fort were the two remaining 168m high chimney stacks from Tilbury B, belching thick clouds of black smoke high above the River Thames.

As I drew the piebald and skewbald gypsy horses, which still roam the old Common Lands, flecks of soot rained gently down on my white paper leaving trails of black when I wiped them off. All around me on Tilbury Marsh, gnarled trees and thorn bushes were festooned with colourful Rubbish-Flags: Long, shredded plastic ribbons which slowly undulated like ghostly ships‘ pennants, and hundreds of trapped plastic bags leapt and shook, full of crinkly joy at having broken free from an indefinite imprisonment in the nearby, gloomy, historic, long-unmonitored landfill of Goshem’s Farm.

Tilbury Hailing and Power Stations
Port of Tilbury
7NU Tilbury
United Kingdom