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Report - Gas Holder No.5, Southall - May 2015.

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Ojay, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Gas Holder No.5, Southall - May 2015.

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    I'm on the fence with gas ironically, however there have been, and still are some iconic structures of industry up and down the country to be seen

    For myself they made for a good climbing frame as a kid, when games consoles and other distractions didn't exist back in the day :p

    Now as I say, I'm not 'fanatical about GAS' or climbing them like others

    Don't get me wrong I've done a fair few now over the years and accumulated some pics for a rainy day, but really nothing to write home about, although I do find them quite photogenic

    These things won't be around for much longer, so if you suddenly find yourself interested in them I'd get your skates on and get cracking!

    Here is a recent article featured by the BBC which explains a little more > http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30405066


    This ones a bit different, as the majority of them are of the telescoping variety

    Telescoping holders fall into two subcategories:

    The earlier of the telescoping holders were column guided variations and were built in Victorian time, they utilise an external frame to guide the telescoping walls, visible at a fixed height at all times

    Spiral guided gas holders were built in the UK up until 1983, these have no frame and each lift is guided by the one below, rotating as it goes up as dictated by helical runners


    And then there are M.A.N sized holders..

    Southall Gasworks

    Southall Gasworks was first established in 1869 with the Brentford Gas Company to meet the increasing demand for gas in Middlesex in the late 19th Century

    Located on land between Beaconsfield Road and the Great Western Main Line.. Arse end of nowhere and now typically surrounded by the Heathrow long stay car park

    In 1926 the Brentford Gas Company was taken over by the Gas Light and Coke Company (GLCC)

    The Gas Light & Coke Company was just one of many companies in London that produced town gas. They owned the Southall site until 1949 when the plant then came under the control of the North Thames Gas Board

    The site was passed over to British Gas Plc in 1973 and subsequently National Grid who own the site today

    In total the site contained 5 gas holders, including the No.5 M.A.N holder which are still visible today although No.2 has long gone and only the below ground tank for No.1 remains

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    Gasholder No. 1 – built in 1869 - Capacity, (14,000 m³
    Gasholder No. 2 – built in 1878 - Capacity, (32,000 m³)
    Gasholder No. 3 – built in 1885 - Capacity, (59,000 m³)
    Gasholder No. 4 – built in 1892 - Capacity, (112,000 m³)


    Gas holder No. 5 - (Blue M.A.N gasholder) – built in 1930
    [​IMG]


    I do have a soft spot for these big blue derps, I grew up near to one and we used to play on/in it before it was demolished

    Most people consider them to be an eyesore, and to all intents and purposes they are

    They have a certain appeal which is probably due to one of a few surviving relics from the industrial past I grew up around, that and cotton mills that soon enough will be wiped off the landscape forever :(

    The trouble is, these day's a lot of these sites are quite tricky to access given some of the ridiculous security measures that have been imposed

    We managed to successfully get into the Battersea holder station a couple of years ago for a look at No.7 before it was recently demolished and was reasonably satisfied

    Like others, I'd always fancied a look at Southall, and having lived/worked in London and passed by here every often to and from the airport, you can't help but notice the local landmark which juts out from the landscape

    You can see the thing from miles around given it's fairly flat around these parts

    They even had to paint LH and an arrow on it to avoid pilots from incorrectly landing at RAF Northolt nearby instead of runway 23 at Heathrow, which is no longer

    I'd been for a couple of visits to the site over the last few years, and although the perimeter fence is easy enough to bypass the 12ft leccy fence behind it wasn't looking good and was a fair challenge for anyone

    There was simply no comedy access unlike some other sites using these fences I've seen/heard about

    I'll also admit I've never put any effort into it either and did the typical trick of convincing myself it was shit, and besides I've got pics of No.7 which is identical etc

    Rewind 18 months ago and Gaj told me he had a plan to get it done, it was ambitious but plausible, although I do remember a jovial "Fuck off" at the time :p

    However having seen the pogo sticks in action, was fairly confident him and Keitei would pull this off, and indeed they went for it on the night of my birthday whilst I was back home

    For anyone not having given the site a good going over, you may not appreciate what was involved on that particular evening, but it worked and they'd managed to crack what was suitably titled the fortnox of GAS


    CHOP CHOP if you want to see this place, as Coleman & Co will be de-constructing it shortly, and in fact with some of the destruction used to gain access I was under the impression work had already started

    That and hearing tales of people being spotted I thought I'd take a look before it's inevitably too late, as on a previous visit there were workers doing some kind of surveying on site and I had to walk away empty handed

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    In for the kill bruv

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    On with some pics of No.5 itself, as we proceeded to climb the external staircase which winds itself up and around the 90m holder

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    Are we there yet.. time for a breather

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    A few more metres and we reached the top deck, could have done with a kronie at this point

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    F00k me, there's only a lift :rolleyes:

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    Up top

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    Shit views

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    Holder Station 960 and old Gas works site

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    Time for a look inside, as night time visits in these places make for shit pics and fill light specials

    The locked hatch might well afford access for skinny fuckers and people with keys, sadly a fail on both counts :D

    We opted for a more interesting way inside, as Battersea holder No.7 was a walk in once up top, however this one isn't and getting it wrong is an unforgiving 90m drop

    After weighing up a couple of safe routes we were soon down inside and onto the walkway below the top breather

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    A gantry leads onto the internal suspended/collapsible staircase which heads down through the middle of the holder and is fully height adjustable as the piston moves up and down

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    Internally, these things look amazing with natural lighting

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    Thats all folks!
     

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  2. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    Very nice that, a quality looking stroll :thumb
     
  3. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Glad I did it now :p
    Cheers for a sweet weekend man :thumb
     
  4. Seffy

    Seffy Bally up lads!
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    Decent pics mate
     
  5. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Got some cracking pics there @Ojay. Still can't imagine how awesome this would've been to see for the first time. It's like a scene from a sci-fi movie inside, it's the entrance to the fucking mothership!
     
  6. Bigjobs

    Bigjobs Official Smartarse
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    Nice pics
     
    Adders, jST and tweek like this.
  7. fb

    fb big in japan
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    My bet is that a load of cable thieves have been in and looted what they could which has killed the power. Tenner says all the cameras are off now as well so you can prob do what you want if the lack of leccy fence and chain on the motor controlled gate is(/was) anything to go by.

    Is this the last one in the country btw?
     
  8. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    No cables had been looted, didn't notice a chain or lock on main gate, it's RFID access anyway so surprised there would be ?

    I was here a couple of weeks back and they were doing some work and deffo no lock on gate then either

    There was a man holder in Liverpool but Coleman & Co have pulled that one down now and No.7 is down too, last one afaik
     
  9. drhowser

    drhowser Bespectacled & irrelevant
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    Nah, deffo not the last one. There's a few at Port Talbot for sure. I think Scunny has MAN holders too.
     
    Speed likes this.
  10. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Shame to see them go, they have a certain charm about them.

    I'd love to own that water tower though that's there, beautiful structure that, shame it's stuck in arse end of nowhere
     
  11. fb

    fb big in japan
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    Well that's what I mean, they'd prob have to chain it if the RFID and maglock were all off, which has obv since been cut and removed


    And actually, yeah. I'm being a fucking div. I was stood on the one at scunny with katie about 6 months ago haha

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    #11 fb, Jun 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
    jST, GAJ, tweek and 2 others like this.
  12. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Nice ones matey :thumb even avoiding the Facebook issues lol

    More impressive up than when they"re being demolished as on BBCs recent Demolition series that"s for sure.
     
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