May I be permitted to give some definitive information regarding the Foss Islands chimney (Letters April 10, 16 and 20)?

The chimney was built during 1899, and for many years was shared by the refuse destructor and the electricity generating station.

It was built by Parker & Sharp, who were a York firm, on a wooden foundation and calculated to weigh 2,120 tons. There was subsequently some settlement of the foundations, which resulted in cracking of the brickwork and the iron bands, you see today, were fitted in 1904 to reinforce it.

The destructor had its own boiler, which used heat from the refuse to produce steam to power a stone breaker and a mortar mill in the Corporation yard. Any surplus steam was available for use in the generating station.

As the power station expanded several additional chimneys were built and the use of the original chimney by the power station ended in the 1920s and it was from then used solely by the refuse destructor.

The Foss Islands chimney was camouflaged at the start of the Second World War (see picture above). There is a record in council minutes of a tender in June 1940 from Bellerby’s for £410 for “camouflage works at the generating station”.

There is no indication that this was for painting the chimney or that it was Bellerby’s the painters and decorators, as there was also a firm called Bellerby’s who were joiners.

Council minutes also record that the cooling tower (now demolished) was to be painted with tar in November 1942 to help make it less obvious. The cost was 9d per sq yard, and it was probably to be done during its construction by William Birch.

John Ormerod, Charles Moor, Stockton Lane, York.