The Anonymous Widower

The Edmonton Incinerator

Although it is officially known these days as the Edmonton EcoPark, as a North Londoner, I will always know it as the Edmonton Incinerator.

I took these pictures with my drone.

These are a few facts from Wikipedia about the waste-to-energy plant.

  • It was commissioned by the Greater London Council in 1971.
  • It burns waste from the seven North-East London boroughs.
  • It generates 55 MW of electricity.

It certainly dominates the landscape alongside the North Circular Road.


It is probably not amongst the greenest of incinerators.

It is probably very much a design of the 1960s.

It is approaching fifty years old.

But it appears that things could be improving.

  • There is a large composting and recycling facility being built on the site on the site.
  • Plans exist to bring in the rubbish by barge.

This Google Map shows the site.


  1. The North Circular Road runs across the bottom of the map.
  2. All of the roads obliterated the famous Cooks Ferry Inn, where I saw the Animals play in the 1960s.
  3. The River Lee Navigation runs past the incinerator.
  4. Pymme’s Brook runs on the other side.

It looks from the map, that another reservoir is being built to the East of the canal.

The Guy Who Built The Edmonton Incinerator

I used to work with the guy, who was one of those in charge of the building of the incinerator, who when I met him, was head of the Greater London Council’s Construction Branch, who were using my project management software.

I can’t remember Mr. Samuels first name, even if I ever knew it.

  • He was an Austrian Jew, who had trained as an engineer, who arrived in the UK sometime in the 1930s.
  • He taught himself English in six weeks and got a job at Lucas.
  • At the start of World War II, he volunteered and joined the Royal Engineers.
  • He spent the whole war in bomb disposal.
  • After the war he became an observer at the Nuremberg Trials.

After all he’d been through, he told me, the worst time of his life, was those years in the early seventies when I knew him, as his wife was dying of cancer.

But he taught me a lot about project management and the real horror of war.

He never told me, how many of his relatives survived the Nazis.

What Will Happen To The Edmonton Incinerator?

This year it will be fifty years since the Edmonton Incinerator was commissioned. It must be coming to the end of its life.

I can’t find any plans, but endless groups, who want it closed rather than rebuilt.

This article in the Hackney Gazette, which is entitled Campaigners Urge North London Incinerator Bidders To Pull Out, is typical.

I am very pro recycling, but then others aren’t as these pictures show.

So if some won’t recycle properly, it will all have to go to landfill.

An Odd Tale About Recycling

I applied to be a member of the Independent Monitoring Board of a prison near, where I used to live.

I had a very interesting tour of the prison, where I met several of the inmates.

One thing surprised me.

The prison had a very comprehensive internal recycling system, whereby everything was fully sorted.

One course of training, that was offered to prisoners was how to sort and process all of the rubbish. According to the guy running the course, it was one of the most popular in the prison.

Possibly, because I was told, it prepared prisoners for a job, where there were lots of vacancies.

I wonder if the new £100million recycling centre at Edmonton will use labour trained in the Prison Service?


April 14, 2021 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kremlin Lets Women Drive The Trains

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in The Times on Friday.

This was the first two paragraphs.

For decades, Russian girls who have dreamt of becoming train drivers or mechanics or captaining a ship have been forced to abandon their ambitions.

Laws prohibiting women from physically demanding employment, or jobs that could harm their chances of bearing children, were introduced by the Soviet Union in 1974, and updated by President Putin in 2000.

No wonder Russia a basket case, as they are not making best use of their resources. As do countries like Iran, Iraq and Syria!

Remember, that during the Second World War, the Nazis didn’t let women work in the war effort.

I seem to remember they lost!




July 8, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Trip To Berlin-Grunewald Station

Berlin-Grunewald station is not far from Berlin-Spandau on the S-Bahn.

According to my easyJet guide. it is a pleasant place to walk and you might even see wild boar.

But I went to pay my respects at Gleis 17.

Wikipedia says this about the infamous platform.

Starting on 18 October 1941 the adjacent goods station until February 1945 was one of the major sites of deportation of the Berlin Jews. The trains left mainly for the ghettos of Litzmannstadt and Warsaw, and from 1942 directly for the Auschwitz and Theresienstadt concentration camps. On 18 October 1991 a monument was inaugurated at the ramp leading to the former freight yard. The Deutsche Bahn had a memorial established on 27 January 1998 at the historic track 17 (“Gleis 17”), where most of the deportation trains departed.

I wonder how many of the Jews from Germany, with whom I share a common ancestor perished in the various ghettos and camps.

Gleis 17 is a sombre place and there was only one other visitor; a German actor.

February 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Swastikas Everywhere

There is this article about the traditional use of swastikas on the BBC web site. Here’s the first paragraph.

Swastika. The word is a potent one. For more than one billion Hindus it means “wellbeing” and good fortune. For others, the cross with arms bent at right angles will forever symbolise Nazism. Yet England is seemingly awash with swastikas. Why?

I first came across their use in perhaps 1963. Several of us at Minchenden Grammar School were looking at old school magazines from the 1920s and 1930s. We were surprised to see swastikas used to separate paragraphs in some of the articles, in just the same way that you might use asterisks today.

I remember asking my father, who was a letterpress printer about this and he said it was common to use swastikas for this purpose before the symbol’s adoption by the Nazis. But he also said, nobody used it now, so he’d sent all his swastikas to be melted down, as they weren’t needed any more.

March 14, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

The Amazing Story of Rudolf Brazda

I’d never heard of Rudolf Brazda, until I saw his obituary today, but it gives deep insight into how the Nazis just didn’t persecute Jews, but a lot of others as well. Brazda was gay and somehow kept himself alive amongst the horrors of Buchenwald.

August 11, 2011 Posted by | News | , , , , | 1 Comment

Mietek Pemper

I had not heard of Mietek Pemper until I read his obituary in The Times today.  Here is the one from The Telegraph.

Most have heard the story of Oskar Schindler and how he saved hundreds of Jews from the Nazis, but here was the man, who did all of the paperwork.

It is a fascinating tale and in a way shows that amongst all the evil of the Second World War, there were some good men and women, making a real difference.

June 15, 2011 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

If You Think There Are Cheats in Sport, Remember the Nazis

There is a wonderfully inspiring interview with a lady of 90 called Dorothy Tyler in The Times today.  She would have won the gold medal in the high jump in the Berlin Olympics, but for the count-back rule at the time.  And that despite the Germans entering a man, Dora Ratjen, to replace their best female high-jumper, who was Jewish. She then went on to win another silver at the London Olympics of 1948. This time it was all fair and square and she was beaten by the first black female Olympic gold medallist, Alice Coachman. She said this of her defeat.

“She was from a very poor family,” Tyler says. “She used to have to pick corn and walk through the fields to school. We exchanged addresses after the competition and I kissed her when she won, which seemed to amaze everyone. One of the reporters asked: ‘How did I like being beaten by a black woman?’ I said: ‘As far as I was concerned, she was a competitor representing her country.’ ”

She eventually competed in the 1956 Games in Melbourne, but she never got the gold she deserved and would have certainly got under modern rules.

Now come 2012, she is an obvious candidate to present the medals in the women’s high jump in London.  But I doubt she’ll be asked to do it, as someone from the the so-called great and good, will be called upon, because it is his turn.

This article alone made the purchase of The Times worthwhile.

December 28, 2010 Posted by | Sport | , , | 1 Comment