There is a good chance that younger members of the community and people who are new to the area would not know about the gasworks that were at Horwich End. They were built in 1927 and were dismantled in the 1970s. We don’t have a great deal of information about their building, just a collection of photographs from beginning to end. So the following pages maps out the construction and finally when they were gone.
One has to have some sympathy for local residents who looked across green fields in 1926, and then when they looked out of their windows in 1928 all they could see where two very large gas holders and the inevitable smell that came with them, but that is progress.
Here is a general view of the gasworks.
Two photographs showing the location of the works before their arrival.
There are comments about some photographs that were put on the forum as the photographs were added, here is the first.
Before the works could begin concrete buttresses had to be cast against the wall to retain it.
I know from my experience as a civil engineer how difficult it is to cast concrete in a one sided shutter. That means that all the pressure created by the concrete can only go one way and that is against the timber formwork. If you were casting a new wall with shutters either side the pressure is equally distributed. More shutter collapses occur in one sided formwork than any other.
The circle has been marked out using the simple but accurate method of a stick in the ground and a piece of string attached to it. Perfect.
This is the laying and compacting of the hardcore prior to concreting.
Right the conny’s here (that’s concrete for anyone not in the ‘trade’) and there’ll be a big show by tea.
Now when you build a gas works consisting of two huge gasoholders, a skyscraper of a gas tower, several ancillary buildings and a gas showrooms you don’t finish the job, stand back and admire your work until someone says: “where’s the gas then?”
Whilst the main job was being carried out in Horwich End new gas pipes had to be laid throughout the village and this in itself must have been a massive task. Here are some photographs of that work being done.
I don’t know which part of the gasworks this was to become but have a look at the man standing on the shuttering. Remember his face as he seems to be a jack of all trades.
Here is a map from 1938.
The following is what the forum member posted:-
I've "coloured in" the rivers, from left to right, Goyt, Randall Carr Brook, then the smallest one is the canal feeder from combs reservoir.
I thought this might help in envisaging where things were. One thing that stands out for me is the the gasholders (or gasometers) are across Randall Carr Brook from the Gas Works itself.