The gasholder once played an essential role in making sure local homes had a reliable gas supply.
It was filled with gas during times of low demand so that it could feed into the local network of pipes at times of peak demand.
This is the last remaining gasholder in an area that has been associated with gas production and storage since the early 1800s. Part of the wider former gasworks site also saw an explosion in October 1973, with three people losing their lives and many others injured.
This October sees the 45th anniversary of the explosion and National Grid would like to mark this by creating a sensitive and appropriate reminder of this part of the gasworks history.
Hannah White, National Grid project manager, said: “It’s fitting that as we mark the end of the gasholders in the area that we commemorate the people who lost their lives and who were injured there.
“We’d like to hear from relatives of Patrick Sleight, Cyril Kennedy and William Donaldson and anyone else affected by the explosion to explore ways in which we might do that. Relatives and former workers can contact us via our community relations freephone.”
New techniques developed by National Grid now allow gas to be compressed and stored inside gas pipes rather than gasholders. This means that the old holder is no longer needed and can be removed to free up the site for potential future development.
Hannah White added: “National Grid is committed to finding new ways of making better use of the assets and equipment it owns and operates. The old holder has served the area well but gas is now stored in underground pipes and so we no longer need the vast network of holders we once had.
“Local homes and businesses will still enjoy a safe and reliable gas supply, but we will now be able to dismantle the holder and clear the site ready for it to be reused. In some locations, former gasholder sites have formed a key part of major local regeneration plans.
“Removing the holder will be a complex job, but we will use highly skilled engineers from our contractor partner KDC to carry out the work. We’ll keep local residents and businesses informed as our work progresses.”