The Old Substation

The Old Substation The Old Substation: a Major Storage facility. See . It contains things of beauty that may well be useful.

The Old Substation was built by the Northampton Electric Light and Power Company (NELPCo) in early 1939. In the 1990's, East Midlands Electricity (successors to NELPCo) de-commissioned the building's transforming/distribution equiment, replacing its functions with the contents of a standard 2-3 metre glass fibre humming cube that sits on the adjacent 20ft square of land NELPCo had leased since 1926. The Old Substation was bought it from Powergen (successors to EME) in April 2004. That December a mezzanine floor was constructed in the right-hand half. Under this floor live a number of tricycles. On the mezzanine, and elsewhere, are stored a lot of things, mostly of household use. Nowadays some of it would be described as Retro. In the curator's opinion the older stuff forms part of a celebration of mid-20th century domestic life. The interior often gives the appearance of various degrees of chaos. There are always plans afoot...

[via Major Storage]
08/05/2020

[via Major Storage]

The curator advises that several large sash windows have been de-archived within The Old Substation. They were originally salvaged from the nearby Bushfield school when the west side glazing was 'upgraded' several years ago.
Major Storage is making them available to Iain Talbot for use in the new office/storage facility he is constructing to the rear of The Old School in (where-else but) Old Wolverton: .

Plans are being laid.Merely for roof refurbishment, planet earth isn't on this list.Below is is a recent draft of the in...
30/01/2020

Plans are being laid.
Merely for roof refurbishment, planet earth isn't on this list.
Below is is a recent draft of the inside front elevation. Am working out how to better indicate the side walls and, crucially, the roof, roof membrane (well, at least the flashing line), and the rest of the parapet wall.
Oh, as this is a hash jpg of the PDF/Illustrator file I'm working on. Some details may not read well in this format/presentation size.
Informed comments welcomed.

I could be better at telling the story here of The Old Substation. Until I'm doing it better, please bear with.This pict...
30/01/2020

I could be better at telling the story here of The Old Substation. Until I'm doing it better, please bear with.
This picture, shows the NE corner and the replacement 2 1/2 metre glass fibre cube that does now what a 5.5 x 9 x 3.5 metre brick building couldn't.
Since I took the pic, the lovely railings were replaced by lattice fence.
Oh, of course, here's a recent Google InstantStreetView: . Assuming many readers may know how to navigate the interface, now you know where this is (Wolverton. England), and which way is north, and etc.

10/10/2015

Earlier this year Western Power Distribution
(who now also manage electricity supply in Wolverton and beyond)
renewed the "Electricity - Danger of Death" notices
on all of _their_ substations.
This activity apparently necessitated removal
of the Powernet signs from _our_ doors.
No fair!
A small competition will be established soon for the creation of similar looking signs to grace our portals...

15th September 2014.--------crossed out--------"KriStY x x WiKtOA(sp?)"--------crossed out--------
15/09/2014

15th September 2014.
--------crossed out--------
"KriStY x x WiKtOA(sp?)"
--------crossed out--------

A little shock horror this afternoon.We have a little dry (or wet?) rot! Waaah!It's mostly above and to the left of the ...
05/08/2014

A little shock horror this afternoon.
We have a little dry (or wet?) rot! Waaah!
It's mostly above and to the left of the door frame (viewed from outside) and has also touched the tops of a couple of timbers standing behind the left 'window'.
Upon a quick Google-based reading, it seems that sufficient appropriate ventilation is the key to managing/coping with the infestation. Have already begun to put into hand.
I really, really need to get the piano out of there...
In picture can easily see fungal white patches over door frame. Eek!
Also down upper right hand side of frame. (A bit hidden by white tubes.)
Lines of mycelium(?) growth in corner of ceiling.

Major Storage got a bit of a shock earlier this evening. He left me a note. Let me tell the story. He was in The Old Sub...
03/01/2013

Major Storage got a bit of a shock earlier this evening. He left me a note. Let me tell the story. He was in The Old Substation getting things to help out Jessica Rost's "Crashed Spaceship! Crashed Spaceship! And it's in our school field!" project (OK, I made up the name, but now you have an idea what it's about). The Major found a roll of orange plastic netting, 20 road pins and two rolls of "Caution Caution Electric Cable Below" tape. [To stave off cries of "What?" & "How?", I will remind you: this is Major Storage in The Old Substation.] The major heard a noise and turned around. He had the foresight to whip out his phone and photograph this strange tentacled sac-like thing spread out across the floor near his gloves. These are his pictures.

Major Storage got a bit of a shock earlier this evening. He left me a note. Let me tell the story. He was in The Old Substation getting things to help out Jessica Rost's "Crashed Spaceship! Crashed Spaceship! And it's in our school field!" project (OK, I made up the name, but now you have an idea what it's about). The Major found a roll of orange plastic netting, 20 road pins and two rolls of "Caution Caution Electric Cable Below" tape. [To stave off cries of "What?" & "How?", I will remind you: this is Major Storage in The Old Substation.] The major heard a noise and turned around. He had the foresight to whip out his phone and photograph this strange tentacled sac-like thing spread out across the floor near his gloves. These are his pictures.

featuring some bicycles & tricycles from The Old Substation collection of Major Storage together with the piano accordio...
18/12/2012

featuring some bicycles & tricycles from The Old Substation collection of Major Storage together with the piano accordion based one-man-band that is Mike Banana.

(Does my head look big in this?)

The Chain Reaction, MK Theatre District, 16 December 2012

The nearest NELPCo (Northampton Electric Light and Power Company) 'tombstone' cable marker to The Old Substation. It's a...
16/10/2012

The nearest NELPCo (Northampton Electric Light and Power Company) 'tombstone' cable marker to The Old Substation. It's accross Radcliffe Street (or Stacey Avenue if you must) from the Bushfield School/Substation alley, on the side of the garden wall of 47 Victoria Street.

Oscar the cat lives almost opposite The Old Substation. This is his back alley. When any of the Major's staff are workin...
10/08/2012

Oscar the cat lives almost opposite The Old Substation. This is his back alley. When any of the Major's staff are working in the building with the door open, a small chipboard sheet is placed accross the threshold to prevent Oscar (or nosy humans) from getting inside. It's called the cat flap. (By just the one member of the staff, obviously.) A photo of Oscar has been used by that staff memeber as their Facebook profile picture. Some viewers have denied Oscar's substation alley status saying he looked stuffed. This new picture of Oscar was taken on Thursday morning (whilst the tricycles were being exercised), with the intention of proving his real live existance once and for all to the self-proclaimed sceptics. It may not have worked. Oscar now looks like, not a quadraped, but a biped, and a strange one at that. Maybe this impression is to honour the Mars rover. There is another shot, taken just before, seemingly while he was getting the hang of the balancing.

Oscar the cat lives almost opposite The Old Substation. This is his back alley. When any of the Major's staff are working in the building with the door open, a small chipboard sheet is placed accross the threshold to prevent Oscar (or nosy humans) from getting inside. It's called the cat flap. (By just the one member of the staff, obviously.) A photo of Oscar has been used by that staff memeber as their Facebook profile picture. Some viewers have denied Oscar's substation alley status saying he looked stuffed. This new picture of Oscar was taken on Thursday morning (whilst the tricycles were being exercised), with the intention of proving his real live existance once and for all to the self-proclaimed sceptics. It may not have worked. Oscar now looks like, not a quadraped, but a biped, and a strange one at that. Maybe this impression is to honour the Mars rover. There is another shot, taken just before, seemingly while he was getting the hang of the balancing.

10/08/2012

Now a part of the empire of Major Storage, there's a brief recent history of the building at the blog page above.

The Old Substation's cover photo
27/06/2012

The Old Substation's cover photo

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Our Story

The Old Substation was built in early 1939 by the Northampton Electric Light and Power Company (NELPCo). After turning on south Northants and north Bucks, they piped the demon electric to Wolverton in about 1926. It’s in Milton Keynes, if you’re wondering. In the 30’s, as the town expanded south up Stacey Avenue and beyond, future demand was projected to be greater than the capacity of the original equipment installed. The leased 20ft square, next to the alley leading to what is now Bushfield School, wasn’t large enough. In 1938 NELPCo bought not only the little plot, but also another 30ft length. As far as I know, The Old Substation building was constructed, fitted out and brought into service during 1939. It was originally glazed, probably with Crittal metal framed windows. There are at least two siblings dotted about Milton Keynes. One in Bradville behind Halley’s Comet pub: . There’s another in Fenny Stratford which, when visited a while back, had retained the original windows. Being on a secure-at-night site probably helped. Presently it’s not only an ATS depot but also has has some additional major transformer gear: . I understand the site to also have been a NELPCo/EMEB (East Midlands Electricity Board) depot. The building to the right may have been offices/stores/canteen. In the 1990's, East Midlands Electricity (NELPCo’s successors) de-commissioned the transforming/distribution equipment, replacing its with a standard 2 1/2 metre glass fibre cube-that-hums sitting on the adjacent plot. There are other stories, including that of the absent padlock, in the why and the how, but I was able to buy The Old Substation from Powergen (successors to EME) in early 2004. That Christmas I constructed a mezzanine floor in the right-hand half. In the 4ft space under this floor now live a number of tricycles. The ceiling is over 12ft, what would you do with the volume? On the mezzanine, and elsewhere, are stored a lot of things, largely items of household use. (A phrase used in the planning permission approval.) Nowadays some would be described as Retro. Your humble curator considers this older stuff a celebration of mid-20th century domestic life. The interior can give the appearance of degrees of chaos, but there are often plans afoot...

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