Electricity has been generated at Littlebrook since 1939 when the first Littlebrook Power Station was commissioned by the Kent Electric Power Company. Littlebrook ‘D’, which commenced generating electricity in 1981, is the fourth power station to be built on the site and was oil fired. Fuel was delivered by seagoing tankers, offloaded at the river jetty and stored in tanks. Fuel from those tanks, as well as supplying Littlebrook ‘D’, was also transferred by river and road to other power stations in the South East.
Littlebrook ‘D’ Power Station was built by the Central Electricity Generating Board from 1977 onwards with the first unit commissioned in 1981. The station was designed as a fuel oil fired station from the beginning – the diversification of fuel supplies being adopted by the CEGB in the 1970s.
The ‘D’ station incorporated the latest 660 MW, 4-cylinder re-heat turbines running at 3000rev/min with each turbine output therefore being larger than the combined output of the previous A, B and C stations! The turbine output was increased to 685 MW during commissioning with practically no additional engineering works required which is testament to the robust design standards rigorously upheld by the CEGB.
The turbines were designed to be flexible in operation with fast responses to changes in required output. There are also 3 gas turbine units manufactured by GEC capable of 35 MW each which are capable of starting up the station should there be a complete collapse of the grid system.
Buildings and Plant Detail
Littlebrook had 3 x 685MW turbine-generator sets manufactured by GEC
The three boilers at Littlebrook were oil-fired.
The control room at Littlebrook has been refitted with a computerised system
The admin block contained the workshops, labs, canteen and bathhouse
Facility for Reactor Engineering and Development (FRED)
Nuclear training and development facility in the ‘A’ and ‘B’ stations
Littlebrook Image Gallery
Visit the plant detail pages above to view more images from each area of the power plant
18 thoughts on “Littlebrook D Power Station, Dartford, Kent”
I worked here from 1979 until 1993. It was an exceptional power station with very commercially aware staff. It had incredible response capability and the plant was exceptionally reliable and robust. Many great memories and so sad to its demise when it was still capable of so much.
Upon completion of my Apprenticeship at Blackwall Point I served at Littlebrook D form 1981 to 1985 in the Mechanical Maintenance Department. Really appreciated the fact it was a new station at the time, clean facilities, new work shop and a great bunch of people all round. Sad times when stations close and get dismantled.
Pretty to look at & stunning to drive, Littlebrook D was a Ferrari among power stations. It holds the annual generation record, ’84-85, (courtesy of Arthur Scargill) but could and did three shift when required. One of the CEGB’s great designs but its success was delivered by its dedicated staff who I remember fondly and with great respect. I worked there from 1979 to 1992 on shift operations.
cladded the building in 80,s , so sad to see it go
On Shift Operations from 1980 to 2000. One sad fact that should be remembered is that 9 people died during the construction (search Littlebrook Hansard) despite HASAW being introduced in 1974 which was supposed to address safety issues with one further fatality shortly after the station was commissioned.
It was a great place to work, some great colleagues, challenging developing new operating techniques with reducing staff levels to keep the station open in a very cost conscious environment.
Hi I didn’t work there but my foster dad did, im not sure if it was 1979 to 1982. His name was Rod Clarke (or Clark and i am trying to track him) So if that names ring a bell or anyone knows his whereabouts please it would be great to hear from you.
I remember i used to look at dartford power station in awe.. we used to live down the road in bean.
Worked at Littlebrook D in 1988. The company I worked for Johnson Controls supplied a control panel which controlled heating a ventilation system to the New Office Block. I worked there at the commissioning stage. Our contact at the Station was Frank Berry and John ?
I was there in 1979 with Lawrence Moss and Keith Bostel – great place to work and had the makings already of a very robust plant. Due to uncertainties over the future oil firing, I went ‘outside’, but still remember the plant with great fondness.
I’m interested in the history of Littlebrook A because my father, Patrick Moloney, worked there ?1939-1945. I think he worked on the turbines.
I have memories of his telling me that un-exploded incendiaries had to be got off the roof very,very,very carefully!
Grateful if you have more information.
Thank you for posting these photos of Littlebrook. I work there for Magnox Remote Operations from September 1998 – February 2000, until moving on to BAE Systems (Submarines). Really enjoyed my time there, interesting work and an interesting colleagues. Thank you again for the memories.
I worked on the main oil fed 400kv cable installations in the early eighties for Pirelli Construction as an oil fitter. This involved laying the cables and working with the jointing crews to making off the SF6 terminal joints. After completion i worked on installing the oil feed tanks making off the permanant oil feeds and alarm systems. Shame to see the station gone.
I worked in D station MMD as a fitter between 1989 and 1995 when I was made redundant after privatisation. In my opinion this was the worst thing that happened to this countries infrastructure.
I feel lucky that I was able to experience working in this power station which represented the peak of British engineering expertise the likes of which we will never see again. There were some bloody good people working there who I had a lot of respect for.
P.S. David Peters, the contact name you were looking for might have been John Rattray.
My father,George Baker, worked at Littlebrook for many years and was there during the 2nd world war as a turbine driver, alas he is no longer with us but he played football for Littlebrook and also represented his county Kent.
On graduation I joined Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners in September 1976 straight into their Thermal Power Stations Department, who were working on the civil structural design of LBD for the CEGB under the leadership of the formidable Mr E(Eddie)G Page. Spent 2 very formative and educational years workin on the job. Lucky enough to visit the site a few times during construction, mind blowing the scale of it. As a result spent most of my career on energy and power related projects.
Would just like to inform my fathers work friend that he passed away on Monday 1st February john griffiths boiler operator
I’m so grateful for you taking these pictures. I worked at Magnox Remote Ops from 1997 to 1998 and I’ve been telling people about the amazing robots and model pressure vessel etc… But sadly had no pictures of my own. Now I can finally show them what it was like!
I worked here for 2 months in 1982 as a Site Engineer for Aiton of Derby who carried out the installation of the pipework systems. Great experience and interesting project to work on.
I was a carpenter and the convenor of shop stewards working on the construction of Littlebrook ‘D’ for M. J. Gleeson Ltd. from 1976 until 1980. I was blacklisted for trade union activities as a result and found it difficult to get work on other sites, despite every employer I did work for telling me what a good chippy I was. I went back into education and eventually ended up as a Senior University Lecturer in social sciences. The blacklist was finally uncovered in 2009 by the Information Commissioner’s Office. After 30 years, a file was still being kept on me showing that I was originally blacklisted by Gleeson’s on that site. Along with other building workers, I sued the employers in the High Court for misuse of personal information.