By Rebecca Drew
CHILLING images have been revealed showing the rusting remains of a Scottish gas power plant that was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen more than half a century ago.
From moss ridden pressure gauges, rusted out poison cabinets to a messy office strewn with box files, the power plant is unrecognisable to its heyday where it produced 20 percent of Scotland’s gas until 1974.
Exterior pictures show a towering maze of metal pipes, a control panel and a large chimney that was originally erected in 1961.
The eerie shots were taken by an urban explorer known only as The Forgotten Scotland at The Lurgi Gas Plant at Westfield in Cardenden, Fife, Scotland.
“After coming across the site on an urbex forum I realised that it was already partially demolished. So, I wanted to go and document the remaining parts of the gasification plant before it went as well,” he said.
“Exploring a more modern place may seem uninteresting to many but one day it will be part of our industrial and scientific heritage in Scotland.
“In its day, this was a pioneering site, with many new techniques being used for producing gas from waste. It’s exciting to photograph somewhere which will one day be demolished and knowing that there will now be a record of its existence.
“This site has been closed for over six years and yet everything has just been left. Is it really acceptable that companies are allowed to walk away and not have a greater responsibility in cleaning up their land?
“The laboratory stores are full of hazardous chemicals and poisons. Who will safely dispose of them? The longer they stay there unattended the greater risk there is to humans and the environment.”
The Gas Plant was officially opened by the Queen in June 1961 and until 1974 it produced gas at a much cheaper rate than anywhere else. In 2004, it was purchased by SSE for £12.3 million which temporarily secured the future for its 10 staff. Operations ended in March 2011.
The Forgotten Scotland took his pictures using a Nikon D5300 camera.
“The only real problem was encountering the numerous metal thieves who were operating at the same time as our explore,” he added.
“They don’t take kindly to interruptions or strangers appearing with cameras. Thankfully after a friendly wave and letting them know that we had no interest in their activities they seemed ok with us walking around.
“Seeing men walking around with bolt-cutters, hammers and crowbars certainly makes for an uneasy exploration.
“Exploring the laboratories with rooms full of toxic chemicals and poisons required a lot of caution. Knocking over a bottle in a confined space could have been disastrous.
“People are amazed at how relatively new everything is, and yet, is now redundant. A place that has been bought and sold for millions over the decades has no value anymore.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/forgottenscotland