The Last Gasholder.
This is a picture taken from Royal Victoria Park in Bath looking across towards Whiteway, in between the gloriously autumn coloured trees you can see two cranes and a steel structure. The structure is the last gasholder in Bath and the cranes are in the process of demolishing it.
Gasholders are a throwback to an earlier time; now natural gas is mostly imported and held around the country in vast tank farms and distributed through an intricate mains pipe system. I am old enough to remember when gas was made from coal that was mined in the UK. Every town had a, usually very smelly, gasworks where coal would arrive by train and “Town Gas” was made and stored for peak time use in gasholders that rose and fell according to how much gas was in them. The gas was pretty smelly too but this carried its own warning as it was poisonous and the lonely, sad or desperate could bring about their own demise with their head in the gas oven.
The gasworks are long gone as is poisonous gas and now the last examples of gasholders are disappearing as well, they no longer serve any purpose other than as landmarks and soon our last one will be gone.
24 November 2014