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Author Topic: Dover Gasworks  (Read 13892 times)

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Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2012, 16:05:19 »
Our friend the retired driver,tells me he used to work the 1410 goods train from Dover's Bulwark Yard to Faversham.A class 33 loco would be used to pull the string of wagons and  brake van.As well as dropping off and picking up wagons at the intermediate stations they would do the same at Dover Gasworks with coal trucks.There were also the dedicated trips from the Docks to the Gasworks.
In those days most of the country stations had sidings and the railways were used by farmers a great deal.

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2012, 22:29:04 »
OK ,thanks chasg,i see the Bing maps show this road now as curving round and following the hillside towards the hospital.It's not a place i remember making any deliveries to.The Germans almost got the gasworks with that mine.I read some accounts about that incident:very nasty indeed!

Offline chasg

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2012, 18:43:17 »
Yes, TowerWill: delboy's 2nd photograph shows the Randolph Rd pre-fabs at bottom left.

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2012, 17:25:35 »
Thankyou delboy!There were wooden cooling towers too.Were the prefabs near these towers put up to replace the houses demolished by the parachute mine?I've just had a look at my old 1970s street map and see Randolph Road was close to this site.

Offline delboy

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2012, 15:05:09 »
Here are two photos of the gasworks about 5 years apart. These are from two books, Images of England DOVER, and volume 2 Dover in old picture postcards from the Back in Time series. Both were compiled by Bob Hollingsbee. There show the considerable development that took place over a few years,delboy

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2012, 17:27:49 »
Thanks delboy,i'd forgotten about taking that photo.Reminds me that i used to load coal sacks onto my truck underneath where the cranes are.However in DoverDan's reply #22 i can see a string of rail wagons  which might contain coal possibly being shunted towards the main line.They're in the background and under floodlights so it's hard to be sure.Yes i can recall picking up coal from a yard near the North Pier with the truck.The Gasworks had ceased operation by then so the coal was mostly for domestic use.

Offline delboy

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2012, 12:10:31 »
Towerwill, go to Maritime, Dover Harbour, Dover Western Docks and you will find a photo that you posted showing Hawksfields berth and further down you will find a picture of the basins that shows Hoarth,Goddard and Bond next to the clock tower. I think they dealt mainly in tarmac. The coal was brought down the coast from Newcastle etc by coaster but I,m not sure how much went for gas as all the coal merchants got coal from there. delboy

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2012, 22:06:56 »
The name Hawksfields rings a bell too delboy.I wonder where they actually loaded up these rail wagons with coal to go to the Gasworks.I'm looking at an old AP in a guide book which shows the Western Docks and i can see what looks like a string of rail wagons(as in my postcard above)and between these and Snargate Street are some long bunkers which might contain coal.I do know they used to shunt the wagons here with a tractor.

Offline delboy

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2012, 19:42:43 »
Towerwill, I was hauling chalk mid 60s so they may have been about then. I remember them taking( not the date) coke down to the docks coal depot, Hawksfields I believe  it was before Corrals. The other one was Hoarth,Goddard and Bond and yes coal trucks were used to load pulp bales into,delboy

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2012, 07:55:32 »
Another memory has come back to me of large tipper lorries trundling through Dover in the 1960s.Three or four axle jobs,these were possibly painted blue and owned by Corals(or similar spelling).I remember seeing them in Snargate Street and they may have been hauling coke from the Gasworks to the Docks.I believe it may have been one of these lorries that crashed down into a basement along Maison Dieu Road between Crafford Street and Park Street.Were these lorries still about when you were hauling chalk through the town delboy?They were off the scene when i worked at Corals for a short time around 1972.

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2012, 22:34:51 »
A very dodgy situation Sentinel S4 when one thinks of that recent gas explosion tragedy!Most of the old boys involved with Gasworks trips are now RIP.My postcard below shows rail wagons alongside the Wellington Docks.They could have been involved in the coal to Gasworks trips but i believe rail wagons were also used in conveying products for the paper industry.This was from the Granville Docks.

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2012, 19:05:20 »
It was the same for us at Chartham, I remember Mum being worried at the 'new' gas and how it would affect her cooking. I agree that any pics would be good to see. How did they get coal before the upgrade? Surely they bought it in by rail in the first place other wise it would all have to go through Dover in carts. As an aside the main gas line between Hythe and New Romney runs part way under the RH&DR. I remember it cracked, cast iron pipe sections were used, in the early 1990's and we had two steam locos trapped on the Hythe side of the escape. It was about 100yrds outside New Romney station. We had to run steam to Dymchurch and a diesel took over to Romney and then steam hauled the train onto Dungy. The fitters were very quick and by early evening we could again get our locos home. Sorry to go off topic.

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Offline Islesy

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2012, 14:43:44 »
I know we did in Hertfordshire TowerWill - a chap came round to change the fittings.
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Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 09:26:22 »
Many thanks for your informative article islesy!Glad to see any photos you're allowed to put on KHF.A quick scan through the internet seems to indicate that coal gas is not produced in the UK anymore.I can remember the change over to natural gas but not what was required.Did we all have have new fittings to our gas stoves and other appliances?

Offline Islesy

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Re: Dover Gasworks
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 08:50:17 »
The Dover Gas Works site in Union Road (now Coombe Valley Road) dates back to 1868 but following damage to the works during WWII, in 1946 South Eastern Gas Corporation Ltd issued plans to extend and upgrade the workings at Dover to replace the plants at Deal, Folkestone and New Romney. These plans had first been conceived in the mid 1930s but put on hold because of the outbreak of war and although they were approved in principle in 1946, the decision was once again deferred because of impending nationalisation by Clement Atlee’s Labour Party.

Nationalisation took place in 1948 and in June 1949 the new South Eastern Gas Board approved the scheme, work starting in 1952 as Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne. Space available on the site proved to be a limit to the Board’s plans and so further land was purchased from the Dover Corporation to enable the expansion of the works.

With the Works handling in excess of 1000 tons of coal per day it was also necessary to add a junction to the main railway line running into Dover, linking with the Works’ own sidings. A mainline locomotive bought the wagons onto the site where the Board’s own Drewry diesel shunter “Harry” worked the yard. The quality of coal used directly affected the output of gas, local coal from Chislet generated 2 million cubic feet of gas per day whilst Durham coal generated 2.4 million cubic feet per day and Yorkshire coal 2.96 million cubic feet per day.

The Works continued to flourish, expand and upgrade until the discovery of natural gas off the coast of East Anglia 1965 heralded the end of producing gas from coal. In 1971 the Works was closed, then demolished to make way for housing and light industries.

I have scores of photos of the works during the upgrade period, unfortunately I have been asked not to publish them on the internet - I'll try to locate some from another source.
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