Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Warehouse Wednesday: Gasometers

New Southgate gas holder

Things that have disappeared from our town landscape - gasometers.We used to have two at the bottom end of Leamington, I remember them from my childhood. Now the site is under housing, although not until the top metre of contaminated solid was removed as I recall. 

For kidz who don't remember these things, in the middle of the ring were three segments of the giant plunger affair which stored gas. The more gas, the higher the plunger went up until it reached the top. It's a clever arrangement and for a certain era - iconic. The move to natural gas and introduction of a national pipe network rendered them obsolete, but moves are afoot to list those that remain.

I was reminded of this when looking at the view from Ally Pally a few weeks ago. Then on the run back, there was another holder frame for my passenger to photograph. All very interesting. 

Distant gas holder

Modelling these from scratch would be a bit of a nightmare, but in the era of laser cutting, technology have come to our aid with kits such as this Modelux OO version.

For traditionasts, Bilteezi made a cardboard kit, although it doesn't look right to me. More like an oil storage depot. 

Hornby used to sell a respectable ready to use version. You can still track these down on eBay.

I'm sure someone has made an etched brass version too, but can't find details at the moment.


Geoff from Oz said...

I remember the same gas holders as you, I walked past them each time I went to my Girlfriends House

Anonymous said...

That takes my mind back to years gone by. In my youth, fresh out of college, I spent a couple of years working with my local gas board. I remember one day observing a maintenance team repairing holes in a gasometer. They would cut a section of metal, and weld it to the outside of the tank whilst the tank was full of gas!!!!! They had to arrange for enough gas to be in the tanks so that the leaking holes were at a working height above the water seal at the bottom, so had to time their visits accordingly.

I was always aware that gas teams were never worried about lighting up their cigarettes around a gas leak!!!! Amazing. Where was H&S in those days?

Colin Murdoch.

Elliot said...

Hiya Phil. I know this is a little random for today's blog, but do you know what has happened to edgeworth? I am 15 and it inspired me to build my first 'proper' layout. I was given the bookazine by a friend of my grandads, and I always have it to hand!

I'd have love to have seen it, yet I only found out about it after it had done the exhibition circuit.

I'm trying to build my first exhibition layout in a similar style, and to present it at my club's bi-annual exhibition.

Any update? Any info on its current state? Or any pics?

I'm sorry to be a hassle - no worries if it's out of reach or inaccssesible etc.

Have a good one!

Phil Parker said...


No problem with being random!

Edgeworth is currently in store and I don't have any shows planned for it at the moment. In fact the follow up, Ruston Quays is in the same state and I'm looking at the next follow-up.

I'm really glad it's inspired you to get modelling and would really like to see your efforts. The best part of my job is when people post pictures of models they have built inspired by my efforts. Hit the "Ask Phil" link on the page to fire up an e-mail, or take a look at the discussion thread on RMweb -

Hope this helps. Good luck with your modelling and I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

James Finister said...

Those things are a lot bigger than people realise

luke stevens said...

Hi Phil, thanks for the link to Modelux. I wasn't looking for a gasometer but the mine winding gear is exactly what I need right now! Much appreciated! Luke