Towers view is all sewn up

Christine Usherwood with her embroidery of Didcot power station

Buy this photo Christine Usherwood with her embroidery of Didcot power station

First published in Didcot Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

WHEN Didcot power station first appeared on the horizon there were plenty of knitted brows.

Conservationists said the huge cooling towers were an eyesore and damaged the views of the countryside.

But that opinion was not shared by Christine Usherwood, then a matron at Radley College, who create her own embroidered version.

Now that coal-fired Didcot A is due to close at the end of March, Mrs Usherwood, of St James’ Terrace, Radley, has dusted off her 1970s creation.

The mum-of-three and grandma of seven, a member of the Radley branch of the Women’s Institute, took six months to complete her artwork, a view of the power station from the school grounds.

She worked as a house matron at the college for about 15 years while her husband Richard was a tutor there. He died in 2008.

Mrs Usherwood, 74, said: “Shortly after Didcot power station was built, a lot of people agreed that it was hideous but I rather liked it. I thought the cooling towers were striking and decided to create a wool version on canvas.”

“It’s the end of an era now that the cooling towers are going to come down and I suppose that makes my embroidery even more special.”

Last month Kelly Green, of Greater Leys, Oxford, revealed she had had a tattoo of the power station inked on her leg.

Didcot A, with its six 325ft cooling towers, first generated electricity in 1970. RWE npower announced it will close on March 31.

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