Crossness Incinerator to Tripcock NessFebruary 7, 2022 in England ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C
Literally 200 yards from the Belvedere Incinerator built in 2012 is the Crossness Sludge Powered Generator, also futuristic with a curved chimney, which was built in 1998; they are separated by the Crossness Nature Reserve, and the building of the former so close to the latter was contentious at the time. Dried sewage sludge is burned here to generate renewable energy.
The Crossness Sludge Powered Generator is adjacent to the Crossness Sewage Treatment Works. This was opened in 1865 together with the Crossness Pumping Station as a result of the "Great Stink"; this was an event in Central London in 1858 during which the hot weather exacerbated the smell of untreated human waste and industrial effluent that was present on the banks of the River Thames - the stench from the river had become so bad that business in Parliament was affected. The Pumping Station, a Grade I listed building, is now decommissioned but still has occasional open days as a museum since it still houses the old Beam Engines that were used to pump London's sewage into a reservoir and then out to the Thames on the ebb tide! On the opposite side of the Thames we have views of the works at Ford Dagenham; car production stopped here in 2002, but engine manufacture continues.
The Thames Path now follows the riverbank with the outskirts of Thamesmead on our left; Thamesmead mainly consists of social housing built from the mid-1960s onwards on former marshland on the south bank of the River Thames on the old Royal Arsenal site that extended over Plumstead Marshes and Erith Marshes - part of the large estate was used as a location for the film "A Clockwork Orange". We see some historic cannons on the path as we proceed.
We soon reach what was a dangerous bend where the River Thames turns south-west towards Woolwich; there is a small red lighthouse here now and the promontory is known as Tripcock Ness. We also see an old pill box and have a view of the Barking Creek Barrier, a tidal flood barrier constructed in the 1980s as part of the Thames flood defence system; Barking Creek joins the River Roding in Essex to the River Thames.Read more