I have always had an absolute terror of heights, so you might be able to understand my frame of mind yesterday, when I arrived at Shoreham Power Station to do some research for a key scene in the next Roy Grace novel, Dead Man’s Grip, involving a secret tunnel under Shoreham Harbour, to be told that to access the tunnel, I had to make a 180 feet vertical descent down a ladder in a shaft! It was a major “oh shit” moment!
Fortunately I had two very delightful and caring helpers, pictured below, Dave Seel and James Seel from Rescue & Emergency Medical Services Ltd who gave me the confidence and help to do it.
I also had a fascinating tour of the power station afterwards by one of its chief engineers, Keith Carter, and learned that not only does this famous Brighton landmark provide power for 420,000 homes in Sussex, its 103 metre high stack provides a nesting sanctuary for peregrine falcons. They in turn repay the favour by keeping the areas free of seagulls!
Below are some pictures of the tunnel and its access shaft – and the power station.
Descended accompanied by two rescue workers, James and Dave Seel. I had to be accompanied because of Health and Safety regulations) and boy was I glad of these guys!!!