17 April 2018

Drax

The Church of St Peter and St Paul in Drax
Parts of this Grade I listed church date back to the 12th century
On Saturday, in the village of Drax, two boys of about nine or ten were ambling along the opposite pavement as I drove slowly by. One of them made the famous and vulgar two-fingered salute in my direction, not realising that I was about to park Clint. When I opened the driver's door, the boys scooted off, perhaps imagining that they were about to be chased by a madman. Instead, it just made me chuckle.

Drax is a village with an ancient history. It once had a castle and an Augustinian priory. It sits in flatlands just south of The River Ouse and north of The River Aire. The landscape is crisscrossed with drains. Half a mile away on the opposite bank of the Ouse is Barmby-on-the Marsh where my family lived until 1952 - the year before I was born. There was no bridge to connect the two villages. Instead, a twelve mile round trip was required via Boothferry Bridge Lord knows what people did before that was built.
Drax Power Station
Seen from fifteen miles away in 2014
In the early 1970's something happened to really put Drax on the map and bring the old village's name to the nation's consciousness. A massive coal-fired power station was built on the edge of the place by the Central Electricity Generating Board. It has a generating capacity of 4000 megawats - the most productive power station in the nation and it looms over the landscape. You can see it from miles around.

I tootled round the area for an hour or so having never been to Drax before. With my curiosity salved it was time to continue with my journey over to Hull where I am sorry to say that in spite of dominating the game, The Tigers lost 0-1 to Sheffield Wednesday. Boo-hoo!
Drax Power Station
Seen from Drax Abbey Farm last Saturday

16 comments:

  1. The cheeky little brats! :)

    Drax...a very interesting name. Do you know the origin of the name, Yorkie?

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    1. It was a noble French surname and arrived in England with the Norman Invasion of 1066. Lord Drax was granted land in the area by William the Conqueror.

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  2. I think I've seen that power station before. Can you see it from the train line that runs northward from London through Doncaster and York? I know I've seen a big power station up there somewhere.

    "Drax" was also the name of the villain in Ian Fleming's "Moonraker." I wonder if he took the name from this village, particularly if it was in the news in the '60s as a possible location for that power station?

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    1. Nope -- never mind. "Moonraker" was written in the '50s, and Drax was named for a friend of Fleming's according to Wikipedia. (Which is never wrong. LOL!)

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    2. Yes Steve, you will have seen that power station on the way up to York though we do have a few other smaller power stations in that part of Yorkshire. Drax is easy to spot because of the big chimney in the middle. By the way, I know virtually nothing about James Bond so I cannot help with that query.

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  3. It's a beautiful church!
    Are people from Drax called Draxters? :)
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Well - I don't know what they are called Maria but the little boys who live there are called cheeky brats!

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  4. There's something a bit sinister about the name Drax. The power station on the horizon doesn't help either.

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    1. "The Legend of Drax", now available on Netflix... starring Johnny Depp as Paul and Su Pollard as Susan... "In the darkness something trembles..."

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  5. What is it that drives youngsters to do that for no discernible reason?? At least they ran off and didn't menace your solitary self!

    The name Drax is interesting, as others have said. And the coal fired generating station is not an unknown sight here. I wish they were not necessary and I look forward to the day when they can be closed. In the meantime I am grateful for the heat and light.

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    1. In England there are very few coal fired power stations left as environmental concerns bite. This is not the case in some other European countries e.g. Poland where coal is still king.

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  6. Sad end to a village when a coal fired generating plant is build beside it.

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    1. Surprisingly, the village is not a ghost town but I wouldn't want to live there.

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  7. Industrial beauty. At least it relieves the monotony of the flat skyline. And without it what would we have done?

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    1. We would have been in the forest collecting wood or digging peat on the hills.

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