Five-year-old boy becomes youngest person to see inside Drax’s cooling towers

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A five-year-old boy from Mirfield has become the youngest person ever to tour an iconic Yorkshire power station.

Little Henry Preece was so fascinated by the sight of Drax’s cooling towers while driving past the Selby site with his family that he wrote a letter asking if he could visit.

Henry’s description of the ‘elephant chimneys’ at the biggest carbon-saving project in Europe impressed bosses at Drax, who decided to let him see inside one of the 114-metre-high structures.

He even said he loved the towers ‘more than chocolate’.

Access is normally restricted to engineers and Henry is believed to be the youngest person to step inside a cooling tower at the North Yorkshire power station.

Parents Ben and Amy were in the family car with the youngster when they spotted the site while driving along the M62.

“Henry was simply amazed at their size compared to what he had seen from the motorway. All he could say was ‘they’re giant’ over and over again,” said Amy.

He also spent time playing with interactive models in the visitor centre and toured the turbine hall, where three of Drax’s six generating units now produce renewable electricity using high density wood pellets instead of coal.

This upgrade has made Drax the country’s single biggest renewable power generator, meeting the needs of three million homes.

“He had a fantastic time but was tired at the end of it so didn’t actually see the cooling towers again on the drive home,” added dad Ben.

Henry’s Letter:-

‘Dear Ann Gray,

My name is Henry. I am five years old. I like the elephant feet chimneys more than chocolate! Please please can I visit them? Love Henry.’

Alex Newman, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds

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