I was in London yesterday, but due to travel back to Yorkshire from King’s Cross when Judith’s blog Beyond the Window Box tumbled into my in-box. She’d been exploring the area round the station, just alongside Regent’s Canal, and found some gasholders…..
As a child, these fascinated me. Those circular cast iron skeletons, housing storage cylinders which telescoped up and down depending on how much gas they contained were a source of wonder to me. Though assertively industrial, they were graceful too, rising above the narrow terraced houses and the factories and trades which grew up alongside them. But ‘Gasworks Street’ was nobody’s idea of a smart address.
How things change. Gasholders London is a site transformed from its dirty, workaday past into a smart desirable residential quarter. All but one of the gasholders now contain not gas cylinders, but luxury apartments. The remaining one has become a small park with a gleaming reflective canopy with grass beneath.
Nobody seems to want to hide the area’s busy industrial past. The über-smart shopping quarter, just being developed on the site of the cobbled streets and railway sidings where coal from the North of England was received and sorted is called Coal Drops Yard.
Round here, if you need to know the price, you can’t afford it. A hundred and fifty years of dramatic social change.
Click on any image for a closer view.