Monday, October 18, 2010

Gas Street and the Gas Works

It is quite probable that every Victorian Industrial town had a Gas Street. Coal gas was a fairly efficient fuel that could be easily adapted for domestic and industrial use for heating and lighting.

Gas Street was on the south side of the first engine shed, with a terrace of eight houses and the gas works itself. This drawing from 1845 illustrates the plan.



The original site was so small that there was no room for expansion. In any case workshop expansion was taking priority, so the Gas Works was moved to the south east, near to the second station. This plan drawn by Bill West shows the location.



The next move came when they built the new loop line and closed the second station in 1882. The Gas Works were moved to the Old Wolverton Road, nested between the two embankments. It was operated on behalf of the works and the town by the L&NWR and after 1924 by the LMS. In 1948 all gas production was nationalized and placed under the control of the East Midlands Gas Board. I am not sure exactly when it closed but the discovery of natural gas probably ended its useful life. I have written a post about this Gas Works here.

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