Brook Lane and Goose Street area, Newcastle-under-Lyme

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Description:A view of the gasometer or gas holder. In 1819 Newcastle-under-Lyme started its own gas light company. The gasworks were built on Goose Street. Coal was heated to release gas which was then stored in a large gas holder before it was delivered through pipes to supply the streets, buildings, businesses and houses in the town.

This new cheaper lighting meant that people could work in the dark. Shops, businesses and factories could open for longer. The downside was that the gas was a bit smelly, caused house fires and explosions and the deadly gas carbon monoxide could build up. Electric lighting started to replace gas lighting in many towns in the early 20th Century as it was safer and cheaper.

Gas production was nationalised in 1948 following the Gas Act. Before this date most towns and cities had their own gas works and produced their own gas. Nationalisation meant that they were owned by the central government and eventually became known as British Gas in the 1970s. North Sea gas was discovered in the 1960s and so the gas industry in towns across the country went into decline as it was no longer necessary to make gas from coal. It was also no longer necessary to store the gas in holders like this one.

This gas holder was demolished in the mid 1990s along with the rest of the site, and was replaced by Morrisons supermarket.


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Creators: Mr Stephen Whetnall - Creator

Image courtesy of: Mr Stephen Whetnall

Donor ref:Nm.2024.32.6 (22/49397)

Source: Brampton Museum and Art Gallery, Newcastle under Lyme

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