Sunday, August 22, 2010

Now you see me... and now you don’t

Today Cape Town bid a rather sad, and surprised 5mins early, farewell to the legendary Two Ladies of Athlone. A familiar landmark to many, commonly also referred to as the Salt n Pepper shakers, left Cape Town with a bang after being around for about 50 years.

I remember as a kid, often driving pass the towers, the vicinity usually became the butt of smelly car jokes. “Oh no! Was that you? What did you eat? Damn!” And this, no matter how many times we passed, went on for years. Happy times! As I’d later learn, the foul smell was only due to the cooling towers being fed with reclaimed water from a nearby sewage plant.

As sad as may have been to see the Two Ladies go, authorities felt it rather necessary since the stabilising rings of the right tower collapsed in February this year. The towers had not been in use since 2003, prior to which it was only used to generate power in peak periods of demand. And with a bit of a bang, Cape Town said goodbye to its last coal-fired power station.

As a legendary landmark, you’d often be directed to “turn left at the Salt n Peppers” or “pass the Salt n Peppers” and bla bla bla. Its a bit sad and weird now that the area will be marked with emptiness - well at least for a little while I believe. The City recently announced that redevelopment of the site would most likely be completed in about three years. Suppose it would be exciting to see exactly what this redevelopment entails.

On the upside of things, it was nice to learn that the remains of the Two Ladies would be put to good use. Ross Demolition has arranged for the rubble to be carted to Salt River where the concrete would undergo extensive recycling and be used to manufacture 10 million concrete bricks, blocks and pavers. Who knows, you may land up with a piece of the Old Ladies after all.

(Pics: by me)

1 comment:

  1. Stunning Buddy, went to go and see this awesome event, and I am not sorry, that was a sight to behold, at exactly 11.56 and 20 seconds the towers dropped amazing..By 11.57 they were no more it actually took 15/20 seconds each to go.

    I remember around seven/eight years ago leaning out of the window of a huge plane coming from an overseas trip, seeing the towers and smiling becoz I knew I was home.