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Report - Salisbury Gasometer, Wiltshire - August 2015

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by Bertie Bollockbrains, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Salisbury gasometer was built in 1928 for the Salisbury Gas Company by Newton Chambers and Co. Ltd of Sheffield. A notice of planned demolition is now attached to the main gate.

    Surprised this one has never been reported in here considering that Salisbury city has been targeted for other reasons by some of you lot. Anyways knowing that it’s soon to be demolished, I thought best to go for a look.

    Visited with @Palisade

    GENERAL INFO ABOUT GASOMETERS:

    Gas holders are also known as gasometers, a term coined by the inventor of gas lighting, William Murdoch. To the disgruntlement of his contemporaries, who complained that this so-called gasometer was not a meter but a container, the name gasometers stuck and slid into general use.

    These gas holders stored coal gas (town gas) and later natural gas for the UK's urban areas, but now all but a handful are obsolete.

    After natural gas was discovered in the North Sea in 1965 the UK gas network went through a massive process of conversion. Town gas stopped being used and North Sea gas started to be transported into the UK under high pressure in pipes.

    From then on, it was only when extra capacity was needed in the gas network that gas holders would be used. As the network of pipelines became larger and more effective, these occasions became fewer.

    By the 1990s, most local gas networks were able to function at full capacity without the use of gas holders. In 1999, a decision was made to start demolishing them. Now, with property prices at record highs in much of the UK, the National Grid is dismantling them and selling off the land.

    The National Grid owns over 500 gas holders (as at Feb 2015) and there are others owned by other companies.

    Keith Johnson of the National Grid, speaking to the BBC in February 2015, explains: "Gas used to be made from burning coal. Coal would be brought to an incinerator near one of the holders via train or boat. As the gas was pumped into the holders, the domed container would rise, telescoping up in enormous metal sections, guided by its steel framework."

    And so, the cylinders would rise. Slowly led from the ground by wheels tracing upright girders, the gas holder would fill up.

    And he explains why they are being demolished: “The National Grid is not a property company. We've been going through a programme of demolition for the last 15 years. And it will probably last for another 20. By getting rid of them we are giving the land back to developers. It's a massive opportunity. It's true that they have been part of the community in the past, but that value has now gone. The disused holders' existence costs vast amounts of money. We'd have to maintain them structurally and make sure that the sites are secure. Urban explorers have been known to break into the sites and try to climb the metal frames – the bastards.”

    Well he didn’t actually say the last two words – that’s just me adding in his thoughts. Well let me say something, we did not “break” into this site at all. So there.

    English Heritage say they currently have listed 12 gas holder sites for preservation. A project in Kings Cross in London is doing just that. Gas Holder Number Eight has been taken down, moved slightly and will be reinstated and used as part recreation ground and event space. Gas Holders 10, 11 and 12 will be reinstated and developed into flats.

    THE EXPLORE:

    That long ladder that looks tempting

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    Notice of proposed demolition

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    The only bit of history I could find anywhere about this gasometer

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    Waiting for the sun to go down before climbing

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    Salisbury Cathedral is the UK’s tallest church tower or spire at a height of 123m. The world’s oldest working clock and one of the 4 surviving copies of the Magna Carta are in there too.

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    Dark now, let’s get climbing

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    And this is the summit shot – I know it’s rubbish but the ladder didn’t lead anywhere. It just sort of stopped making this adventure a bit pointless. This ladder is nearly a 100 years old and is extremely rusty. Large chunks of rust and ladder were being knocked down onto my head by Miss Palisade, which was a bit unnerving I have to say.

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    Blimey Waitrose is huge from up here

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    By the time we got down, the stars were out. Unfortunately the northern hemisphere summer night sky is rubbish with very little of interest to see relative to the winter sky. Anyways I tried: look to the left of the top of the ladder in this photo and we see the small constellation Lyra. The very bright star in Lyra is Vega which is of interest – it’s the second brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere and remarkable because when observed it doesn’t have a round sphere shape but more of an elongated oval shape due to it rotating so quickly. It also has a large debris disk surrounding it. Here’s an interesting pint of trivia – right now people lost in deserts and at sea will use Polaris (the North Star) to locate north. But because of the earth’s wobble (really called axial precession) the North Star in a few thousand years time will no longer point to north. Around about from the year 13700AD, Vega will become the new North Star. Remember that if you turn immortal and get lost at sea some time in the future.

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    Thanks for reading and if anyone follows us that ladder is not safe… you have been warned.
     

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  2. WhoDaresWins

    WhoDaresWins Let's do this
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    We have checked this one out before and got pretty much to the base of it but it was fully live at the time. Some time last year I think it was. Didn't realise it was being demo'd. Nicely done.
     
    Oxygen Thief likes this.
  3. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Nice work, it never used to be that easy !
     
  4. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Exactly that.
     
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  5. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    Good effort, looks a nice climb with a good view from the ladder to nowhere :thumb
     
  6. Palisade

    Palisade 28DL Regular User
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    I had no idea that I was knocking chunks of rust onto your head Bertie, which was probably a good thing! It was pretty unnerving as it was!

    Nice report :thumb
     
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  7. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Nice.
     
  8. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Pretty cool this mate :thumb
     
  9. GAJ

    GAJ Mr Muscle
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    Good stuff & that ladder is fine btw :thumb
     
  10. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Seems that Salisbury gasometer took a direct hit during World War II. Found this on the BBC's People's War (an archive of World War II memories) webpage. Wont type it out in here as it's copyright material, but basically the gasometer took a direct hit in 1942 and burst into flames, but surprisingly did not explode.
     
  11. Tomw1989

    Tomw1989 28DL Full Member
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    Nicely done Bertie! You didn't disappoint with this one!

    Thanks again for yesterday! Well impressed with you doing Graham's Grovel without kneepads!
     
  12. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Well I didn't actually mean to do the Grovel, just to show you lot the way in, but somehow got sort of sucked in - I will write a letter to Santa and get it sorted. Never seen that wall before that's been built half across Clapham Junction and I wonder if the fresh looking "certain death" markers are Brian's work too.
     
  13. Tomw1989

    Tomw1989 28DL Full Member
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    [​IMG]

    Called him out on the antics at Browns. Took his toys and went home.

    Sorry about the size of the image, I don't know how to resize it...
     
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