Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Bankside Power Station : planning, politics and pollution
Author: Murray, Stephen Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 5351 2114
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Electricity has been a feature of the British urban landscape since the 1890s. Yet there are few accounts of urban electricity undertakings or their generating stations. This history of Bankside power station uses government and company records to analyse the supply, development and use of electricity in the City of London, and the political, economic and social contexts in which the power station was planned, designed and operated. The close-focus adopted reveals issues that are not identified in, or are qualifying or counter-examples to, the existing macro-scale accounts of the wider electricity industry. Contrary to the perceived backwardness of the industry in the inter-war period this study demonstrates that Bankside was part of an efficient and profitable private company which was increasingly subject to bureaucratic centralised control. Significant decision-making processes are examined including post-war urban planning by local and central government and technological decision-making in the electricity industry. The study contributes to the history of technology and the environment through an analysis of the technologies that were proposed or deployed at the post-war power station, including those intended to mitigate its impact, together with an examination of their long-term effectiveness. Bankside made a valuable contribution to electricity supplies in London until the 1973 Middle East oil crisis compromised its economic viability. In addition to altered economic externalities, changing environmental and social conditions influenced how Bankside was perceived. Its pollution became increasingly unacceptable and the building itself came to be seen as a major architectural and industrial archaeological achievement. The transformation to Tate Modern in 2000 was instrumental in the social repositioning of the gloomy post-industrial Bankside locality to a modern cultural area. Bankside’s central London location, its architectural and technological design, and its role as Tate Modern make this a significant case study in urban history, environmental history and the history of technology.
Supervisor: Horrocks, Sally; Gunn, Simon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available