Report - - Gas Holders, Saltley, Birmingham, December 2012. | High Stuff | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Gas Holders, Saltley, Birmingham, December 2012.


Infiltrating since '04
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- Saltley Gas Holders -

Approximately 160 ft high.

Been wanting to climb these massive metal structures for a long time, very excited on the day, when I got through the perimeter; walking up to the foot of them was overwhelming, knowing that I could climb them and was about to.

A gas holder is a large container in which natural gas or town gas is stored near atmospheric pressure at ambient temperatures.

Typical volumes for large gasholders are about 50,000 cubic metres, with 60 metre diameter structures.

Finally the day had came.

Thought I'd post this history here even though the gas holders in person say No. 7 & 8, not No. 5 & 6... Yet I'm sure this is the history for the Saltley holders, maybe they were 5 & 6 and been allocated different numbers over time (that is what history and signs do).

History from 'The Engineer' record/history book published on the 28th of December 1900...

The weight of the steel in the guide framing is practically 933 tons.
The cost of the tank, including the framing and ironwork, was approximately £30,000, while the contract for the gasholder and guide framing amounted to about £38,000.
Sundry work done by the gas department of the Corporation brought up the total cost of the new gasholder to about £72,000.
These figures indicate what a large portion of the total cost of a gasholder is formed by the cost of the tank, especially on bad ground, and hence the economy of increasing the number of lifts becomes very evident.

The cost of the new No. 6 holder per million cubic feet stored is about £9000, whereas that of the extension of No. 5 gasholder, where the tank was already in existence, worked out at a rather lower figure.


The contractors for the No. 6 gasholder and framing were C. and W. Walker, of Donnington, who were likewise the contractors for the gasholder of nearly equal capacity at the Beckton works of the Gas Light and Coke Company.

The framing of the holder is, indeed, a model of simplicity of construction, combined with great strength, add it certainly takes front rank among existing large gasholder framings in this respect.

The design of the holder including tank and framing, reflects the greatest credit on Mr. Hack, who was solely responsible for it.

In the preparation of the drawings for these works Mr. Hack wishes us to state that he was greatly assisted by his then head draughtsman, Mr. C. Richmond, who has since been appointed superintendent of the new works of the Corporation at Nechells, where the new gas holder is erected.

The Saltley and Nechells works of the Birmingham Corporation now display many other evidences of Mr. Hack's great ability as a constructing gas engineer.
Saltley Gasworks once held the honour of having the tallest gasholders in Europe, these matching twin holders are tallest in the U.K.
Considered by most as an 'eye-sore' when noticed.
The gas holders are very rusted/rusting now, was more of a adrenalizing rush climbing up the 8, 20 foot rusting ladders, freely and without the use of anything (like harnesses or ropes).

Love heights and urban exploration adrenaline is amazing. (Never once felt fear here though.)



It does/still smell(s) of gas around here.






Time to climb!!

Almost half withered away rusted ladder rung.
Most of the rungs were like this, trying to stand towards the edges as much as I could although they're not exactly long.
Made sure when climbing to never put my two hands/feet on the same rung at one time just encase one broke.



At The Top.



The view's a lot better at night I think.

A few night photos...





Time to leave...


Definitely go if you like exhilarating views, heights and adrenaline rushes.




Last edited:

stan the gas

28DL Member
28DL Member
I came across this site when I was searching for gas holder information. I used to work for British Gas gas holder maintenance
and these particular holders were included in the maintenance schedule that was part of the West Midlands area holder program. These two holders were allegedly the biggest in Europe (capacity wise) and were recently demolished unfortunately. I have spent hundreds of hours climbing up and working around these beauties and would you believe I never bothered to take a camera to record any memories so I was delighted to see your pics.
for information. these two holders were no7 and no8 and were known as Washwood heath holders . Saltley gas holders were about one mile away and were holders no 5&6 sadly also demolished now.
at the time of writing this there are three holders still standing in Birmingham these are at Windsor st works holders no12 no13 no14 about a mile away also awaiting demolition.

Once again thanks for posting the pics.

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