Up the Creek - South Coast

Power Station Creek, Southampton Water

  Fawley Power Station was a large oil-fired power station, built on the south western shore of Southampton Water in 1964 and 1965.  The excavations for this provided valuable information on the geology of the Eocene strata which underlies the area, on the sheets of Pleistocene gravel here below sea-level and on the Holocene mud and peat.  A tunnel beneath Southampton Water from the power station to Chilling on the opposite bank provided much geological data.   Numerous bore holes were associated with both the power station site and with the tunnel so that it was possible to obtain much detail on strata that are poorly exposed at the surface in the area.  It was built on the marshes on the up-estuary side of Calshot Spit.  Another photograph shows the position of the old redbrick officers' mess of the former RAF camp at Calshot Spit.  Further back and just in front of the power station is the white-roofed, dome-like, control building.  When the photograph was taken the tide was very low; the level of the Neolithic peat bog would have been a metre or so lower than this.   The normal south eastern shoreline of the spit at that time would have been out where the photograph was taken or even further south.  The spit is known from bore holes to have been present in Neolithic times.  The photograph of Power Station Creek as it is locally known today shows the south western end of the Power Station where the objects, that seemed to be bodies, were found.  Here a dredged dock now exists on the site of the land ward part of Ower Lake although these days due to lack of use it is silting up.

  Enter the marked channel on a high spring from Southampton Water just north of Calshot Spit and either drop anchor or pick up a buoy.   The Creek was once was a favourite with Sailing instructors but is now silting very quickly and only realistically entered by shoal draught vessels.  Occasionally there can be an obnoxious smell emanating from the Power Station itself.  Should this not put you off then observe the wild foul that seem to frequent this area sometimes in their thousands.   It is a very quiet haven and a few vessels still make it for an overnight stay.   There are still some buoys laid originally for Power Station personnel not to be relied on but now used by visitors.

Power Station Creek (Extract from Chart GB502038)

Power Station Creek, the Creek at low tide

Power Station Creek showing the old Officer’s Mess

Power Station Creek, Fawley Power Station today (2006)

© Copyright Terry Paynter