Bell Green Gas Holders Demolition [Begun 7th January]


I agree with you.

I am realistic, I know that it would be impractical to leave them as they are or just as frames.

I do think that redevelopment of the area should take the frames into account, there is loads of potential.

The area does not really lend is self to a park, but there are many other options, even as retail. A developer would obviously need to take maintenance of the frames into account.

In the long term, the guide frames will become much rarer as a vast majority of gasholders get pulled down.

Then there may be regret that they were allowed to just be dismantled, without any real plans for the site.



From the SGN site, Ofgem are apparently funding the removal of the holders across England and Scotland; 50% from a total of 110 are due to be demolished by 2021.

I didn’t know that they are often filled with contaminated water, oil and sludge, and I expect it is the management of that which contributes to an onerous maintenance cost over time. Perhaps the worst case would be a leak in the base which isn’t readily accessible or easy to fix, yet could allow contaminants to pass into the land or ground water. I guess as the structure ages this becomes more likely. So while most of us look at the visible structure and wonder how much it can cost to maintain that, the true cost could be hidden from direct view.

It’s just a guess though, and I must say that when I first saw them I thought they were an eye sore, but will probably miss them once gone. For a while anyway.

According to the beeb, English Heritage have listed 12 sites for preservation in England, so they won’t all be lost, and some are being moved out redeveloped:

There is some vaguely interesting info from SGN here too:



My point was that the gas holders don’t make an area great enough in size to make a conservation area. The gas holders would need to be independently listed structures, either nationally or locally.



They are locally listed:

I don’t think a conservation area has a lower size limit. There is info here:



Old Baths might not have been a pool - it was a public washhouse and those often included swimming pools, but not always (Eg in central Wandsworth the baths were just that, the ones in Battersea were both baths and pool). Looking at old maps, it’s hard to tell from the shape of the building which it might have been (I’ve never been inside it either).

Off topic, I know!



Yes. A little more research suggests it was a ‘Slippers Baths’. So hot water and baths you could soak in. Quite important in time where heating and running hot water was scarce I suppose. I wonder how many survive?

Interestingly, the section in that article also highlights the Art Deco building, now used by Coventry Scaffolding, which we could add to the list of things worth conserving.

I’m starting to build a picture of streets with brick houses surrounding these buildings, in place of car parks and warehouses. A pipe dream perhaps…




Bell Green Peregrine Falcon by James Evans, on Flickr



Nice James - is it mainly there start and end of the day? I had a quick look at lunch today but could not see it. Plenty of ‘bird food’ around!

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Around dawn it’s often sat up there. Probably every day, but I don’t always get the chance to look. Quite hard to spot too, as plenty of birds on the frames throughout the day. Several photos of it, I’ve only noticed it was there when I looked at the pics and zoomed in to check the focus.

It seems to sit there and then fly off, usually before I walk past on the school run, past 8:30. So assume it has a pretty good view of most of south east London and is picking a hunting spot. Guess it’ll get earlier and earlier as the days grow longer.

I’ve only seen it a few times later in the day, approaching sunset.

But I used to photograph the starlings in Sainsbury’s car park and have seen them all take off and vanish at points through the day, which is usually a sign there is a predator around. The crows are not bothered. So it probably pops in a few times.




A summary of last night’s meeting has just been shared:

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I visited Kings Cross today.

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it’s like something out of Inception



A third of the image on the left is a reflection from one of the mirrors in Gasholder Park.

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Beautiful. And not in their original location.

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Aye. Partial frame elsewhere on the site too. Listing helps focus minds of developers of course. I actually think our gasholders look nicer though. These are essentially solid tubes, with some ornate bits on. Ours, while less ornate, have more bits and pieces. I like looking through them as I walk past, seeing the frames merge in with each other. Seems ours are a fine example of the shift between the older and newer styles, designed by a man who was president of a couple of societies involving gas and engineering (Gandon).

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Visited Bell Green today…

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An alternative plan here, for the site holding the listed gasholder at Old Kent Road, with a Livesey Park, residential development and some discussion about reuse of the frame.

“There is a great potential for the listed building to
have a role in the park that goes beyond being a
visual feature. The scale of the gasholder is such that
it is capable of defining a place within itself. Figure
96 and Figure 97 illustrate the scale of the gasholder
compared with the Royal Albert Hall. The diameter
of the gasholder is approximately equivalent to
the diameter of the main performance hall and the
structure is even higher than the dome at the Royal
Albert Hall.
Three potential re-use options have been considered:
1 Open space, retaining a quarter of the gasholder
bell, creating open space on the rest, and
exposing the underground tank (see Figure 100).
2 Semi-covered open space: a 60m diameter green
space which is semi-covered by the dome of the
of the bell exposing its structure with a central
open space(see Figure 101).
3 The community building: an underground
structure for community purposes, creating open
space on ground floor”

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