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#316461 - 6th May 2009 5:26pm Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: chriskay]
Beaty59 Offline

Registered: 5th May 2009
Posts: 234
Loc: Port Sunlight
Hi all
i actually served my time as an Instrument/electrical engineer at MPS from 1987-1991 great times thanks for the pics brings back lots of great memories

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#319351 - 16th May 2009 12:38am Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: chriskay]
bri445 Offline


Registered: 27th Apr 2009
Posts: 659
Loc: Isle of Wight

I got a bit confused, just coming fresh to this topic today. Apart from old age, the names 'Central P S' and 'Merseyside P S' threw me, as the excellent photos didn't seem to be anything to do with the CEGB's 'Bromborough P S' on the river side. Now it makes sense!
The CEGB power station was being built about 1950. Tom Armstrong was the chief engineer, from Merz & MacLellan, the consultants on the job, and he was in the Rotary Club. They had a scheme in those days to help us lads to get a good start in life and I got into my apprenticeship in 1951 at the English Electric Co., Gillmoss, Liverpool, through his introduction. It was all started by a visit to the Youth Employment Office, opposite Bebington Station and a tour of the power station. I was hooked! It was easy to get a job in those days!

I don't understand why the Lever's site would be left to get derelict. Surely the gear in there would have some secondhand value in the trade. But too late now!
Thanks for fabulous work in these Industrial Archaeology topics!

#550950 - 23rd Jul 2011 1:24pm Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: uptoncx]
marks Offline

Registered: 5th Jan 2011
Posts: 1
Loc: Deeside
I also worked on maintenance at Merseyside Power Station for UML for a few years, up to the end at 1998. When I was there we had 3 servicable boilers, although 1 was never used.
When I was there, we had:-
Boiler 3 - HFO (Heavy Fuel Oil) still there, but scrap
Boiler 4 - HFO still there, but scrap
Boiler 5 - HFO Never used
Boiler 6 - HFO Standby
Boiler 7 - Coal In daily normal use
T2 Turbine - Unservicable
T3 turbine - servicable and in daily use
Engine generator - regularly used

Boilers 5 and 6 had 4 burners each, at 8 gallons/minute per burner

Boiler 7 ran on small grade coal, and was thrown in on 2 rotary feeder from the front on a chain grate.

Boilers 1,2,3,4 had been 650psi on HFO
Boilers 5,6,7 were rated at 100Tons/hour of steam at 1500psi
T2 had been 10Mw, 11kv (1500psi in, 650psi out)
T3 was rated at 14Mw, 11Kv (1500spi in, extract at 230psi, exhaust at 110psi) Gland steam was passed into the 20psi main that was used for tank-farm and domestic heating.

There had formerly been P1, P2, P3 turbines (650psi in, 230 psi out) and S1 and S2 turbines (230psi in, 110 psi out). These had been removed before my time there.

There were 2 small turbines driving boiler feed-pumps, but these were not used.

The engine generator was a Mirrlees Blackstone KV-major V18, driving a 10Mw alternator on 11Kv. It was started on gas oil, but run on S20 HFO (2% sulphur). It had 2 turbochargers and a waste-heat boiler. The waste-heat boiler used to produce about 7-8 Tons/hour of 110psi, and demineralised water for the main boilers was passed through the jacket to act as a pre-heater, saving about 7-8 tons/hour steam. So the action of putting the engine generator on removed about 15Tons/hour of load from the main boilers.

Boilers 5 and 7 were fitted with Bailey DCS controls, and boiler 6 had pneumatic Bailey Miniline500 controllers.

Merseyside power station had Turbine generators on 11Kv, and had formerly had generators also on 3.3Kv. The electric feedpumps were still on 3.3Kv until the end.

Central Power Station had (before my time) condensing turbine generators on 230psi, and later a back-pressure set(230psi in, 50psi out). All generators in CPS were at 6.6Kv, as was the link into MANWEB.

Merseyside power station did not have a "direct link" with MANWEB, but the 11Kv system had a link with MANWEB at Compound Mill Substation, on the Lever Brothers site. Formerly the link was at Sunlight South substation, also on Lever Brothers site.

The 6.6Kv and 11Kv networks had an internecting transformers which were the large transformers just inside Merseyside Power Station main gates. Because of the way that the systems had developed, some customers substations were on 6.6Kv, others on 11Kv.

The 2 links into MANWEB were into their 2 33Kv feeders that ran between CEGB Bromborough, and Rock Ferry substation.

As for Hosemans comments, we knew the place was full of Asbestos. Boilers 1-5 and all of their pipework were asbestos lagged, it was sprayed onto the beams in the boiler 1-4/ areas. It was under the floors like snow, various panels were made of it - it was everywhere. There was a lot of mercury we had recovered from instrumentation, but no doubt there was more elsewhere. There were Igema gauges still in the old boiler house with its own fluids.

I very much enjoyed my time working for UML, and the people I worked with. After closure we all were treated to a day at Leicester races, and 2 nights in a very nice hotel, and return coach travel. UML was one of the best employers I have ever worked for.

#555916 - 4th Aug 2011 9:32am Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: marks]
bigpete Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 7th May 2009
Posts: 331
Loc: Thingwall
There is a preserved steam loco - no.7386 - called Birkenhead - which used to shunt the coal required for the older power station.

For those interested - it is a RSH (Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn) 0-4-0ST and is owned by the GWRPG - Great Western Preservation Group - though NOT a GWR loco....

Edited by bigpete (4th Aug 2011 9:33am)

#556483 - 4th Aug 2011 11:46pm Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: uptoncx]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Addict

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 6959
Loc: Birkenhead
I guess some of the posters on this thread will remember my friend Roy Marks who was a manager here and treated me to a tour of the power station along with many anecdotes.

#752721 - 24th Dec 2012 12:44pm Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: diggingdeeper]
335steve Offline

Registered: 28th Sep 2010
Posts: 14
Loc: Wirral
diggingdeeper,Only spotted & read this thread today,I was interested as Roy Marks was my cousin,it was nice to see your mention of him

#814600 - 8th Aug 2013 2:12pm Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: uptoncx]
bigpete Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 7th May 2009
Posts: 331
Loc: Thingwall
The CEA Bromborough Power Station - was once also much bigger that that shown on the plan - with it's coal fuel all coming in by rail.

Used to stink of sulphur tho' - spent many a wet afternoon - choking on the fumes on the Rock Ferry HS playing fileds...

#814632 - 8th Aug 2013 4:55pm Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: 335steve]
spinner1 Online   content

Registered: 31st Jul 2013
Posts: 58
Loc: prenton
Was that Roy Marks with wife named Pat and lived in Egerton Park.

#924606 - 30th Jan 2015 11:43am Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: uptoncx]
Gaz_W Offline

Registered: 29th Jan 2015
Posts: 2
Loc: United Kingdom
Great story and kudos to the OP for taking time to write that very informative item! While I am job searching I came across this story for info on my CV (not written one for 25 years lol!)...got the info and read down the comments from you peeps and saw the name Roy Marks, what a nice gent he was! Had many conversations with him at CPS and MPS...
So I registered and here I am! Transferred from LBL to UML about '74 and took redundancy in '89 after Stork moved down south and we lost the demand for steam...The last job I had was Fitters mate (most rewarding job to date I may add!) Anyway, I could go on but I would just like to post a pic of me in my Turbine driver roll...Cheers. Gaz

CPS turbine.jpg

#924703 - 30th Jan 2015 9:20pm Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: Gaz_W]
spinner1 Online   content

Registered: 31st Jul 2013
Posts: 58
Loc: prenton
Hi Gaz
Do you remember a fitter called Ted Noonan ?
Think he was prob there during your time !!

#924792 - 31st Jan 2015 2:15pm Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: spinner1]
Gaz_W Offline

Registered: 29th Jan 2015
Posts: 2
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi Spinner! can't remember his face but sure I recognize the name!
My boss was Stan Mc(Donald) what a gent! Derek Hodson,
fitters:Pat Hadfield,Kenny Forster,Eddie Green, John ? shop steward, Jim ? storeman and many more but memory goes dim,
it's been 26 years now but definitely, Happy days for me!

Edited by Gaz_W (31st Jan 2015 2:26pm)

#929648 - 19th Feb 2015 10:18pm Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: uptoncx]
efiste2 Offline

Registered: 22nd Mar 2013
Posts: 5
Loc: Cheshire
Working for what I still call MANWEB the Electricity network in the area being discussed above, has obviously been adopted. The older local substations all have relics from another ownership such as log books etc etc . Would this be the network fed by the Stations discussed above ?

#929744 - 20th Feb 2015 9:36am Re: Unilever's Power Stations [Re: spinner1]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Addict

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 6959
Loc: Birkenhead
Originally Posted By: spinner1
Was that Roy Marks with wife named Pat and lived in Egerton Park.

A very belated reply - Yes, it was the same Pat and Roy. I spent many an hour getting thrashed at darts by Roy, even when he was down to one eye.

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