Last gasometer in St Albans is pulled down

PUBLISHED: 06:32 28 March 2014

The last remnant of the gasometers on the former gasworks site in Griffiths Way, at the bottom of Holywell Hill, was pulled down in St Albans. Photo courtesy of Peter Wares

The last remnant of the gasometers on the former gasworks site in Griffiths Way, at the bottom of Holywell Hill, was pulled down in St Albans. Photo courtesy of Peter Wares

Peter Wares

Remnants of one of St Albans’ largest, noisiest and polluted industrial sites have been removed, signifying the end of an era of producing gas from coal.

Peter Wares, of Sopwell, joined a small crowd last Wednesday to see the last sections of gasometers on the former gasworks site in Griffiths Way, at the bottom of Holywell Hill, being pulled down.

He said: “When the final standing piece was toppled a great cheer went up and a ripple of clapping was heard from the site, from locals who witnessed the historic occasion.”

Peter added that it was a “pity that despite the many bad memories people had of the gasworks, we couldn’t have adapted these gas holders for something else, since in their own way they were not that unattractive.”

He recalled the constant noise of machinery moving the coal and coke around the site and the “awful smell in the air from extracting gas from coal”.

Peter said: “There was a constant stench and noise. It is gone now, but it is part of St Albans’ history.”

The gasworks were built nearly 190 years ago in 1826 and were closed in 1971.


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