Gas

 

GAS IN WITHAM


Important:

(1) See also  ‘lighting’ re street lights
(2) See also notes on ERO D/F 27/7/1, minutes of Witham Gas Co 1907-1926
(3) See also notes on PRO BT 31/34043/1954, Witham Gas Co files (two volumes).
(4) See also JG’s photo collections especially:

(a) ‘M’ miscellaneous collection, M62 gas works; M63 workers at gas works; M215, M298, M662, M1102, M1722 Newland Street including gas manager’s house; M299, M1063 date plaque from gas manager’s house; M600 group of builders at gas works; M810 and M811, horse at gas works after winning prize in show in 1920; M1217, Charles Capon at gas works.

(b) ‘P’ personal collection, P23/20, P26/5, tombstone of James Church in All Saints churchyard (‘MR JAMES CHURCH / formerly of Rochester / AND 22 YEARS MANAGER OF THE / GAS WORKS IN THIS TOWN / WHO DIED MARCH 3 1858 / AGED 67 YEARS / … ALSO OF / MARY / RELICT OF THE ABOVE / WHO DIED AT CHICHESTER[?] FEBRUARY 1870[?]’); P187/2A-4A, date plaque from gas manager’s house.


Directories, quotations from introductory sections

1848 The Gas Works were established in 1834, at the cost of about £850, and a similar sum was expended in 1847, in making a new gasometer, and in extending the gas pipes to Chipping Hill and the Railway Station. The charge for lights is 10s., and for cooking purposes only 6s. per 1,000 cubic feet.
1855 to 1933 The town is lighted with gas [by a company formed in 1834]

[the latter added in later editions]

1863 Newland Street … is connected with Bridge street … These and the few short cross streets, are now well paved and lit with gas. The Gas Works were established in 1834, at the cost of about £850, and a similar sum was expended in 1847, in making a new gasometer, and in extending the gas pipes to Chipping Hill and the Railway Station. The works have now cost about £2,000, raised in £20 shares. Mr Richd Stevens is clerk to the Gas Co., and Mr Robt Robinson, manager of the works.
1937 ‘The town is lighted with electricity’


D
irectories: people

Year Manager etc Sec etc.
1839 Butler, Thomas, treasurer, Gas works
1848 Church, James, manager, Gas Works
1855 Church Jas. superintendent of gas works Banks Edward Wilson, clerk to commissioners of land & assessed taxes, & secretary to gas company
1859 Stevens Richard, solicitor clerk to commissioners of land & assessed taxes, secretary to the gas company
1863 Robinson, Robert, manager, Gas Works, Newland Street
1866, 1870, 1874 Witham Gas & Coke Co. (limited) (Richd. Stevens, esq. sec.), Gas works
1878, 1882, 1886, 1890 Witham Gas & Coke Co. Limited (Richd. Stevens, sec.; Robt. Robinson, manager), Gas works
1895, 1899 Witham Gas & Coke Co. Limited (Frank Postle Bawtree sec.; Robt. Robinson manager), Gas works
1902, 1906, 1908, 1910 Witham Gas & Coke Co. Limited (Frank Postle Bawtree, sec.; James Croxall, manager), Gas works
1912, 1914, 1917 Witham Gas & Coke Co. Limited (John Francis Bawtree, sec; James Croxall, manager), Gas works
1922 Witham Gas & Coke Co. Ltd. (Hugh Francis Bawtree, sec.; Jas. Croxall, manager), Gas works
1926 Witham Gas Light & Coke Co. Ltd (Hugh Francis & John Francis Bawtree, joint secs.; Jas.Croxall, manager, Gas works. T N 61
1929 Witham Gas Light & Coke Co. Ltd. (Hugh Francis & John Francis Bawtree, joint secs.; Jas.. Croxall, mngr.), Gas works, High st. T N 61
1933 Witham Gas Light & Coke Co. Ltd. (Andrew Kellard, sec.; A.T.Howard. mngr.), Gas works, High st. T N 61
1937 Witham Gas Light & Coke Co. Ltd; (A. J. Mumford sec.; W J. Mulley, manager), Gas works, High st.

 


 

Other sources, in date order

Chelmsford Chronicle, 20 November 1835
Witham lighted with Gas
On the [???] inst. the town of Witham was brilliantly lighted with gas for the first time, and much delight was manifested by the inhabitants at the successful conclusion of their undertaking. A band paraded the town during the evening, and an excellent dinner comprising among other good things, two legs of mutton and some fine ribs of beef, which were cooked [???] was partaken of at the works by the trustees and inspectors, W W Luard esq in the chair. The inhabitants are greatly indebted to the exertions of Messrs Butler, Beadel and Banks, under whose immediate superintendence this invaluable improvement to the town has been effected, and great credit is due to Mr Church, manager of the Chelmsford gas works, for his able execution of the work entrusted to him. There are 80 private and 26 public lamps already fixed, a considerable accession to the former is expected’.

1841 census, HO 107/343/16, f.18, p.6, High Street

James Church 45 Gas factor not born in Essex
Mary Church 45 not born in Essex
Robert Church 20 Gas factor not born in Essex
John Church 15 Cutler ap not born in Essex
Emily Church 11 not born in Essex
Mary Church 9 mo born in Essex
/
Eliza Shelley 20 Dress maker born in Essex

Chelmsford Chronicle, 16 September 1842, page 3

‘Dinner to Thomas Butler, Esq. On Monday last, the shareholders of the Witham Gas Works gave a dinner to Thos Butler Esq, their treasurer, in acknowledgement of his exertions in their behalf, the gas being remarkably good, and an annual dividend of 7½ per cent having been paid during the last two years. On the occasion about twenty gentlemen sat down to an excellent dinner at the Blue Post Inn, when W W Luard, Esq. presided, with E N Banks, Esq. as his vice-chairman, and after the usual routine, the chairman in proposing “The health of the Treasurer of the Gas Works,” presented him on the behalf of the shareholders with a very handsome silver inkstand, bearing the following inscription – Presented by the Shareholders of the Witham Gas Works to Thomas Butler, Esq., Their Treasurer, 12 Sep 1842’.

1851 census, HO 107/1783, f.209, p.26, schedule 93, Newland Street

James Church Head M 58 Gas factor employing 2 men born Kent, Rochester
Mary Church Wife M 58 Wife of ditto born Kent, Gravesend
Mary Church Dau 10 Scholar born Essex, Witham
Louisa Ely Granddau 9 Visitor born Essex, Witham
Martha Church Granddau 5 Visitor born Essex, Maldon

 

1861 census, RG 9/1107, f.86, p.159, Gas works

Robert Robinson Head M 36 Gas engineer born America
Emily Robinson Wife M 29 born Kent, Chatham
Leila Ada Robinson Dau 3 born Wales, Paxham
Mary Church Visitor Wid 60 Independent born Kent, Gravesend
Sarah Boltwood Serv 15 House servant born Essex, Wickham

 

1871 census, RG 10/1695, f.38, p.1, Newland Street

Robert Robinson H M 48 Manager of gas works employing 2 men and 1 boy born Canada (British subject)
Clementina Thirza Bentall U 24 Companion housekeeper born Essex, Rayleigh
Arthur Robert Robinson S 6 Scholar born Essex, Witham
Lucy Belsham Robinson S 3 Scholar born Essex, Witham
Clement Marten S 16 mo born Essex, Witham

 

1881 census, RG 11/1809, f.50, p.28, schedule 160, Newland Street, Gas house

Robert Robinson H M 56 Gas works manager empl 4 men born Kingston, Upper Canada, British subject
Janette Robinson W M 35 Wife born Essex, Rayleigh
Arthur Robinson S U 16 Son born Essex, Witham
Percy Robinson S 13 Scholar born Essex, Witham
Clement Robinson S 11 Scholar born Essex, Witham
Alice Owers Serv 17 Domestic servant general born Essex, White Notley

 

1891 census, RG 12/1425, f.42, p.24, schedule 159, High Street, Gas House

Robert Robinson Head M 66 Manager of Witham Gas Works born Canada
Olivia Robinson Wife M 4-? born Essex, Rayleigh
Percy B? Robinson Son S 23 Engineer, Civil Marine born Essex, Witham
Ellen Coker Serv S 14 General servant domestic born Essex, Goldhanger

 

1901 census, RG 13/1725, f.44, p.13, schedule 101, High Street, gas works

James Croxall Head M 34 Manager Gas works (worker) born Staffs, Burslem
Frances Croxall Wife M 33 born Staffs, Burslem
Eva Croxall Dau 7 born Staffs, Burslem
Gladys Croxall Dau 5 born Staffs, Biddulph
George R Croxall Son 3 born Staffs, Biddulph

 

UDC, 18 December 1911
page 9. Gas Company agrees to lay gas main in Guithavon Road and erect lamps at usual cost per lamp. Agreed to have four.

UDC, 29 January 1912
page 14. ‘Petition for gas lamps from residents of Chalks Road and Braintree Road was read also a further petition for lamps from residents of Albert Road’. Discussion. Mr Pinkham proposed Gas Company be asked if would lay gas mains and put up lamps if the Council acceded to petition. Approved nem. con.

UDC 26 February 1912
page 20. Gas Company agreed mains in Albert Road and extension in Braintree Road and Chalks Road to be further considered. Accept.

UDC, 25 March 1912
page 24. Seven lime trees planted in Collingwood Road to replace dead ones. Write to Gas Company informing them that gas escape in Collingwood Road detrimental to trees, please remedy.
page 27. Ask Gas Company for additional terms for lighting street lamps every night from 1 August to 30 April instead of leaving out five nights every full noon as now.

UDC, 29 April 1912, Annual meeting
page 33. Gas Company said roots of trees caused the escape of gas. Told to write and say ‘the gas escaped before the trees were planted’.
page 34. Move that Witham Gas Company be asked to stop closure for full moon and reduce price generally.
page 35. Gas Company agreed to gas mains in Braintree Road and Chalks Lane, on conditions.

UDC 30 September 1912
page 67. ‘A runaway horse having knocked a tree down in Collingwood Road, this tree and other defective trees were ordered to be replaced’. Write again to Gas Company about damage from their defective mains.

Essex County Chronicle, 5 March 1915
page 8 (see xerox on newspaper file). Witham Gas Company. E M Blyth presided at annual meeting. Increased consumption because of presence of soldiers in Witham. Very satisfactory in spite of increased cost of coal. Showroom built at cost of £95. Dividend 7½ %. W Bindon Blood re-elected chair, Blyth vice chair. T Speakman elected director in place of late Mr Cranfield.

UDC 30 October 1916
page 349. Writ from Gas Company against Council for not adhering to agreement (probably about street lighting’. To be a meeting. 

UDC 27 November 1916
page 355. In Camera: Re Gas Company. Terms in letter accepted.

 Essex Weekly News, 8 March 1918
page 6. 
‘Witham Gas Company. Yesterday the 58th annual meeting of the Witham Gas Co was held, Mr E M Blyth, chairman, presiding. The report stated that the business continued to be in a satisfactory condition. Two cottages adjoining the Company’s premises had been purchased to provide additional storage room when required. The directors, after careful consideration, decided to undertake the carting of coal, which they hoped would in future effect a good saving. The balance sheet showed a profit of £435 4s 4d upon an outlay of £5,706 14s 2d, against £583 1s 5d upon an outlay of £5,140 3s 9d last year. The report and balance sheet were adopted and a dividend of 6% declared. Messrs S Abrey, D Brown and N Linley Howlett were re-elected directors and Mr W G Naylor was re-appointed auditor’.

Essex Weekly News, 14 March 1919
page 6.  Annual meeting of Gas Co on March 6. Mr E M Blyth presided. Dividend of 6 per cent declared [no other info]

Braintree and Witham Times, March 1930
Looked for anything on AGM 20 March when several directors gave up, but couldn’t find.

Braintree and Witham Times, August 1930
Looked for anything on meeting 1 August but couldn’t find.

Braintree and Witham Times, 28 November 1930 page 4 col 3.  ‘Artful Thief at Witham. Gasworks stoker heavily fined for stealing boots’. Arthur Shelley, young stoker, of Maldon Road. Two pairs of boots. Strenuous denials. Inspector Girt called him ‘an artful and petty thief’’. Magistrates convicted. Fined £10 or 2 months in prison. Bricklayer from London said he’d left boots over weekend. Shelley said he’d bought them in Chelmsford market and had them repaired by Charles Walter Rallings of Mill Lane, Witham. Another prosecutor, Robert Treacher, had lost shoes. Police sergeant Claydon and Supt Whiting. Shelley a single man. Others things missed. No previous convictions and excellent character as workman. So fined and to pay £1 a week. Earned 58s per week.

Braintree and Witham Times, March/April 1931
Looked for anything on AGM 30 March when all new directors but couldn’t find.

Braintree and Witham Times, 25 February 1932
p.4.
Leader about Witham siren. At Gas works and needs 40lb pressure to fire it. Usually police tell gas works to fire it. Perhaps electric would be better.

Braintree and Witham Times, 7 April 1932
page 10. James Croxall retired on 31 March after 33 years, reaching age of 65. Gas works remodelled since he came. 

Braintree and Witham Times, March/April 1932 Looked for anything on AGM 28 March when all new directors but couldn’t find. 

UDC Public Health Committee, 19 October 1932
page 47. Heard that Gas Company plan to put new gas main in Church Street from White Horse corner to Chalks Lane and through Chalks Lane to Braintree Road. Footpath will be broken up. No notice received.

UDC Public Health Committee, 16 November 1932
Gas mains now done in Church Street etc.

UDC Public Health Committee, 14 December 1932 page 66. Rev Campbell has suggested ‘that the light now at Chipping Hill immediately opposite the cottage site purchased from Mr Richards, be moved nearer the Pillar Box close to Mr Doole’s shop. This spot is in darkness and formerly a gas lamp was there which was very convenient for persons using the box at light’. Yes.
Also ask Gas Company to ‘move a gas standard now standing on the island in Avenue Road outside Messrs Cooper Taber’s factory, ‘to make room for the electric lamp now on that corner to be removed there to improve lighting there’.

UDC Housing Committee, 19 November 1935
page 201. Housing for aged persons. Proceed on revised estimates. Ministry of Health wanted price reducing by £10 per bungalow. Include increasing lavatory space to give enough room for baths in future but not necessary to have baths now. Gas Company to pipe bungalows and lights and coppers free. 

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 17 June 1936
page 422. East Anglian Electricity Supply Co don’t want to quote for fire alarms. So ask if Crittall’s and Witham Gas Co will agree to use their hooters for next 12 months.

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 15 July 1936
page 465. Gas Company agreeable to using hooter at night as fire alarm. Recommend it be retained as such. 

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 18 November 1936
page 583. Ask Gas Company to quote for two lamps in Homefield Road.

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 18 November 1936
page 583. Ask Gas Company to quote for two lamps in Homefield Road.
page 584. OK for Gas Company to open Chalks Lane to lay gas mains.

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 16 December 1936
page 627. Quotes from Gas Company for two lights at Homefield Road [electricity also seem to have quoted but gas a bit less and accepted] 

UDC Housing Committee, 15 March 1937
page 712. Accept offer from Gas Company to ‘carcase’ Church Street houses (52 of them, probably east side) and fix lighting in each room with point for cooking, at no cost to Council. 

Braintree and Witham Times, 12 January 1939
page 1.
Advert. ‘The Witham Gas Light and Coke Company Ltd. invite you to a further series of Cookery Demonstrations at the British Legion Hall, Mill Lane, Witham commencing at 3 p.m., Thursday, January 26th. Menu for first week will be puddings for all seasons’.

Essex Weekly News, 5 October 1945,
page 14.
‘WITHAM GAS LIGHT AND COKE COMPANY, LTD., ECONOMY IN THE USE OF GAS. The Company respectfully begs to urge on all consumers the imperative need for the utmost economy in the use of gas from now and during the coming winter.
With such co-operation it should be possible to meet all reasonable demands, but otherwise it is more than likely that pressures may again have to be reduced.
DON’T WASTE GAS. TURN OFF THAT TAP.
S F Gardiner, Engineer and Manager, 2nd October 1945’.


From ERO online catalogue

ERO D/DU 56/5
Estate Auction book (name of auctioneers on cover in Messrs Coote and Abrey of Witham). A few entries relate to auctions of shares in the … ‘Witham Gas Company’, (p. 127) … 1858-1888 9

T/P 175/10/3 Sale catalogue of shop and dwelling house in Newland St., Witham; cottages in Wickham Bishops; shares in Witham Gas Co., 1905

D/F 27/7
Minute books of meetings of directors and shareholders of Witham Gas Light and Coke Company (see separate doc for notes)

Witham Parish records
D/P 30/24/16 Special district rate for lighting by gas.
1860-1868
D/P 30/24/17 Special district rate for lighting by gas
1863-1866
D/P 30/24/18 Special district rate for lighting by gas
1867
D/P 30/24/19 Special district rate for lighting by gas
D/P 30/24/20 Special district rate for lighting by gas
1857-1859


Gas company, Transco records
From A2A web site, March 2004
Reference Code: EA:WIG. WITHAM GAS LIGHT AND COKE COMPANY
Creation dates: 1926 – 1949.
2 FILES. Held at: Transco plc.
Administrative History
Formed in 1860. On Nationalisation in 1949 the undertaking became part of the Chelmsford Group of the Ipswich Division of EGB
EA:WIG/A/M/1
Minute Book of Directors’ meetings 8 Oct 1926 – 27 Apr 1949. Creation dates: 1926 – 1949.
EA:WIG/E/F/1
Three black and white photographs of new gas holder foundation. Creation dates: 1948.
Reference Code: EA:BIG. BRITISH GAS LIGHT COMPANY LTD (CENTRAL OFFICE)
Creation dates: 1824 – 1949. Held at: Transco plc


Administrative History of British Company
The British Gas Light Company was formed in 1824 with the objective “.. to contract with and supply Light to Towns or Places that may require Gas.” The first permanent chairman was Jacob George Wrench, appointed in May 1825. In 1829 an AoP was obtained which incorporated the London station and effectively separated the London undertaking from the rest of the company’s undertakings. The incorporated London company operated mainly in the east end of London until 1852 when it was purchased by the Commercial Gas Co. Lighting contracts were obtained in Limehouse, Whitechapel and Mile End. Offers to purchase the works of the Poplar GLCo and the Ratcliff GLCo came to nothing, although after the 1829 Act was obtained, the Co extended its area of supply to districts previously supplied by the Imperial GC and the chartered Gas Light and Coke Co.

After the Act of 1829, the unincorporated part of the company (known as the Provincial Co) established by Deed of Settlement operated seven stations at Norwich, Hull, Trowbridge, the Potteries, Holywell, Ayr and Clonmel in Ireland. In 1857 it was incorporated as a Joint Stock Co with Limited Liability and then in 1924 the constitution was altered by the substitution of a Memorandum and Articles of Association for the original Deed of Settlement. The headquarters of the company were originally in George Yard, Lombard St, London until 1922 when they moved to No.2, The Abbey Garden, Westminster.

The most important stations of the British GLCo were at Norwich and Hull, both purchased in 1825. The company purchased the Norwich Gas Light Company (formed in 1820) which provided oil-gas and operated from a works in the parish of St Stephen. It also established a major coal gas works at Hull, on land at Sculcoates. In 1830 the Company decided to convert the Norwich works to coal gas manufacture and to expand to a new site at Bishop Bridge. By 1853 another new works was completed at St Martin-at-Palace (See EA:NOU). In 1883 the BGLCo erected chemical works at Great Yarmouth, the raw by-products being conveyed from Norwich by river. The Hull works operated alongside the works of the Kingston upon Hull GLCo and later the East Hull Gas Co (See NE:HUB). The works at Ayr were sold to a private owner in 1832 and the undertaking at Clonmel was sold in 1895. The station at the Staffordshire Potteries was sold to Stoke on Trent Borough Council in 1922.

The British GLCo was unique in that it was not only an undertaker in its own right but it also eventually had a controlling interest in 21 gas companies. By 1949 it had 18 subsidiary undertakings in the Eastern GB as well as operating 10 stations of its own, including Aylsham (1933), Bletchley(Fenny Stratford) (1928), Brandon (1935), Chatteris (1938), Diss (1935), Downham Market (1932), Harleston (1928), Mildenhall (1936), Norwich (1857), Thetford, and Wickham. (See EA:EA). Under the Gas Act 1948, special arrangements were made to transfer local undertakings to the relevant Area Gas Board concerned. The records of the Limited Co were retained within the Eastern Gas Board.

[earlier files not noted as not relevant to Witham]

EA:BIG/A/M/11
Minute Book A of the Court of Directors 8 Jan 1930 – 1 Nov 1933
EA:BIG/A/M/12
Minute Book B of the Court of Directors 15 Nov 1933 – 29 Sep 1937
EA:BIG/A/M/13
Minute Book C of the Court of Directors 13 Oct 1937 – 24 Jun 1942
EA:BIG/A/M/14
Minute Book D of the Court of Directors 15 Jul 1942 – 10 Dec 1947
EA:BIG/A/M/15
Minute Book E of the Court of Directors 21 Jan 1948 – 30 Apr 1949
EA:BIG/A/M/16
Minute Book S of the Works Committee Meetings 22 Oct 1930 – 12 Aug 1942
EA:BIG/A/M/17
Minute Book T of the Works Committee Meetings 23 Sep 1942 – 27 Apr 1949
EA:BIG/F/R/1
Bundle of miscellaneous receipts. Creation dates: 1948 – 1949
EA:BIG/L/T/1
British Gas Light Company Ltd and subsidiary companies Register of Deeds (Aylsham to Witham undertakings) 10 Oct 1849 – 14 Aug 1947
EA:BIG/P/L/1
Salaries and Emoluments Register with details of employees including Date of Birth, date entering service and wage details. Creation dates: 1930 – 1949
EA:BIG/P/P/1
Register of Pensions and Allowances, British Gas Light Company, 1 Jul 1930 – 25 Jun 1947


Email exchange with National Gas Archive, Transco, March 2004 (latest first)
To: Janet Gyford
<janet@gyford.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2004 12:46:04 +0100
Dear Ms Gyford,
I am sorry for the delay in contacting you, however I was unable to attend to your enquiry last week. I have now checked the trade directories which list the Witham Gas Light and Coke Co. as a subsidiary of the British Gas Light Co. from 1934. I have checked the minute book for years 1933-34 but can find no mention of this apart from a note of a loan from the BGLC for £3000 in February 1933. The Deeds register mentioned has two pages of deeds pertaining to Witham. I have looked at the plans which show very little other than a dotted line showing the boundary of the site they do not indicate the layout of the plant etc. and I do not think they would be of interest to you. I f you would care to send a postal address I would be prepared to photocopy the pages from the deed register and the photographs free of charge as we normally provide up to 10 pages free of charge.
To: Janet Gyford <janet@gyford.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 16:17:02 +0000
From: archive@uktransco.com
Message sent by Elaine Brison
Janet,
If you don’t select the ‘catalogue in full’ button on A2A then you will just get entries that include the search term you used. I have attached our list for EA:WIG
(See attached file: EA Witham GLCC.doc)
I am now away until Monday but will then look at the deed register and plans (these may be very similar/duplicates) and let you know what I think its worth having copies of and therefore costs. I’ll also look for details of the BGLC acquisition of Witham in the trade directories and let you know what I can find out.
I will contact you again on Monday
Elaine
National Gas Archive
Europa Court
Europa Boulevard
Warrington WA5 7TN
Tel: 01925 425741
Fax: 01925 425748
email: enquiries@gasarchive.org
www.gasarchive.org

Janet Gyford

<janet@gyford.com

> To: archive@uktransco.com

cc:

17/03/04 12:06 Subject: Re: witham gas light and coke company

Hello Elaine

Many thanks for replying so quickly.

I can’t find any individual EA:WIG references on the A2A site (for instance about the photos you mention), so if you had a list that would be most helpful.

Would it be feasible to order some photocopies by post, e.g. of the relevant pages in the Deeds register EA:BIG/L/T/1, and of the plans you mention in EA/SA/WIG?

As far as I can tell from the company records at the PRO, the British Gas Light Company Ltd started to take over the Witham company in 1930 – if there is any more precise information about this anywhere, it would be useful.

Many thanks again

Janet
At 09:54 17/03/04 +0000, you wrote:

Message sent by Elaine Brison

Dear Ms Gyford,

thank you for your enquiry re Witham Gas light and Coke Company we do not have any further records for the actual Gas Light and Coke Company but do have further records pertaining to the Witham undertaking after Nationalisation of the Gas Industry in 1949 as below, ‘Block plans’ are very simple outlines of where buildings stood on the site:

 

EA:EA/SA/WIG WITHAM

>

ESTATE & PROPERTY

EA:EA/SA/WIG/E/E | ESTATE DRAWINGS

1 Block and floor plan for 86 High Street Drawing. No. S475. 1957

2 Block plan of gas holder site, London Road Drawing No. S495/1A. 1984

3 Block plan gas holder site Drawing No. S495/2. 1985

 

With regards to the references you found on A2A the EA/BIG/L/T/1 is a deeds register which means this does not include the deeds its self but is simple a log book of all deeds created usually giving the names of the parties involved and the land/purpose

 

The EA:WIG refs are fairly self expalnatory – photographs being photographs though I have to say ‘gas holder foundations’ are not very interesting being little more that a hole in the ground. The minute book is a bound volume that holds the official record of meetings held, usually listing those present and itemising matters discussed. The archives are avbailable for viewing by appointment and copying facilities are available at a cost of 20p photocopy (A3 & A4) and £5 per plan copy, Laser prints are also available of photographs at £4 per copy, all copyright lies with the National Gas Archive.

 

I hope this has been of some use,

 

Elaine Brison

Assistant Archivist

 

Janet Gyford

janet@gyford.com

 

To: enquiries@gasarchive.org

16/03/04 12:49 Subject: witham gas light and coke company

 

Hello gas archive

 

I see from the A2A web site that you have some records of the Witham Gas Light and Coke Company in Essex (your ref EA:WIG). Would it be possible for you to tell me a bit more about what these documents comprise, and also whether you have anything else about that company ? I also see Witham referred to under the British Company (EA:BIG/L/T/1) and would be interested in that too.

 

Many thanks

 

Janet Gyford

 

 

GAS WORKS in ESSEX Locations and Key Dates

from John Horne’s gasworks gazetteer, supplied by Michael Leach of Essex Arch and Hist Soc, March 2004

 

Gasworks which were for the exclusive supply of particular private houses, institutions or factories are listed elsewhere.

Most of the Essex gasworks trading in May 1949 were vested in the Eastern Gas Board, the remainder (already owned by the Gas Light & Coke Company), becoming part of the North Thames Gas Board.

 

Corrections and additional information would be welcome. Please contact John Horne on 023 8046 3139. This version updated 8-7-2001 [Address given for him by Michael Leach: Heathermount, Moor Hill Road, West End, Southampton SO30 3AW. ]

 

 

WITHAM, High Street/Mill Lane/Roman Road, Essex n45-11, TL 8241 1542

[1835. Gas plant supplied by the Neath Abbey Ironworks; drawings held by the Glamorgan Archive Service. Glamorgan archives claim in email 29 March to JG that these plans are actually Witham in Somerset; John Horne is investigating]

Richard Stevens was listed as Secretary in the 1859 and 1867 P.O.Directories. He was also a Solicitor and Clerk to the Commissioners of Land and Taxes.

1860: Formation of Witham Gas Light & Coke Company.

In 1870 and 1886 Richard Stevens was secretary. Frank Postle Bawtree was Secretary in 1900. Robert Robinson was manager in 1870 and 1900 (Kelly’s Directory) but GWD&S lists J.Croxall as Manager in 1900.

In 1929 James Croxall was Manager. The Joint Secretaries were Hugh and John Fras of Bawtree.

Control acquired by the British Gas Light & Coke Co.Ltd.

In 1937 W.J.Mulley was Manager. The make that year was 23.8m from 1,504 tons of coal.

By 1948 S.F.Gardiner had taken over as local Engineer & Manager and the make was 36m. Gardiner also managed Halstead and other BGL subsidiaries

1950    Gasmaking ceased during the latter part of the year.

 

WITHAM HOLDER STN., Essex n45-12

The Chelmsford to Colchester main passed through Witham.

The holder(s) had been demolished by October 1985.

Gas in Witham. Various items noted by Janet Gyford, Blanfred, Chalks Road, Witham, Essex, CM8 2BT, up to June 2004

 

Important:

(1) See also document on ‘lighting’ re street lights

(2) See also notes on ERO D/F 27/7/1, minutes of Witham Gas Co 1907-1926

(3) See also notes on PRO BT 31/34043/1954, Witham Gas Co files (two volumes).

(4) See also JG’s photo collections especially:

(a) ‘M’ miscellaneous collection, M62 gas works; M63 workers at gas works; M215, M298, M662, M1102, M1722 Newland Street including gas manager’s house; M299, M1063 date plaque from gas manager’s house; M600 group of builders at gas works; M810 and M811, horse at gas works after winning prize in show in 1920; M1217, Charles Capon at gas works.

(b) ‘P’ personal collection, P23/20, P26/5, tombstone of James Church in All Saints churchyard (‘MR JAMES CHURCH / formerly of Rochester / AND 22 YEARS MANAGER OF THE / GAS WORKS IN THIS TOWN / WHO DIED MARCH 3 1858 / AGED 67 YEARS / … ALSO OF / MARY / RELICT OF THE ABOVE / WHO DIED AT CHICHESTER[?] FEBRUARY 1870[?]’); P187/2A-4A, date plaque from gas manager’s house.

 

Directories, introductory sections

1848 The Gas Works were established in 1834, at the cost of about £850, and a similar sum was expended in 1847, in making a new gasometer, and in extending the gas pipes to Chipping Hill and the Railway Station. The charge for lights is 10s., and for cooking purposes only 6s. per 1,000 cubic feet.
1855 to 1933 The town is lighted with gas [by a company formed in 1834]

[the latter added in later editions

1863 Newland Street … is connected with Bridge street … These and the few short cross streets, are now well paved and lit with gas. The Gas Works were established in 1834, at the cost of about £850, and a similar sum was expended in 1847, in making a new gasometer, and in extending the gas pipes to Chipping Hill and the Railway Station. The works have now cost about £2,000, raised in £20 shares. Mr Richd Stevens is clerk to the Gas Co., and Mr Robt Robinson, manager of the works.
1937 ‘The town is lighted with electricity’

 

 

Directories: people

Year Manager etc Sec etc.
1839 Butler, Thomas, treasurer, Gas works
1848 Church, James, manager, Gas Works
1855 Church Jas. superintendent of gas works Banks Edward Wilson, clerk to commissioners of land & assessed taxes, & secretary to gas company
1859 Stevens Richard, solicitor clerk to commissioners of land & assessed taxes, secretary to the gas company
1863 Robinson, Robert, manager, Gas Works, Newland Street
1866, 1870, 1874 Witham Gas & Coke Co. (limited) (Richd. Stevens, esq. sec.), Gas works
1878, 1882, 1886, 1890 Witham Gas & Coke Co. Limited (Richd. Stevens, sec.; Robt. Robinson, manager), Gas works
1895, 1899 Witham Gas & Coke Co. Limited (Frank Postle Bawtree sec.; Robt. Robinson manager), Gas works
1902, 1906, 1908, 1910 Witham Gas & Coke Co. Limited (Frank Postle Bawtree, sec.; James Croxall, manager), Gas works
1912, 1914, 1917 Witham Gas & Coke Co. Limited (John Francis Bawtree, sec; James Croxall, manager), Gas works
1922 Witham Gas & Coke Co. Ltd. (Hugh Francis Bawtree, sec.; Jas. Croxall, manager), Gas works
1926 Witham Gas Light & Coke Co. Ltd (Hugh Francis & John Francis Bawtree, joint secs.; Jas.Croxall, manager, Gas works. T N 61
1929 Witham Gas Light & Coke Co. Ltd. (Hugh Francis & John Francis Bawtree, joint secs.; Jas.. Croxall, mngr.), Gas works, High st. T N 61
1933 Witham Gas Light & Coke Co. Ltd. (Andrew Kellard, sec.; A.T.Howard. mngr.), Gas works, High st. T N 61
1937 Witham Gas Light & Coke Co. Ltd; (A. J. Mumford sec.; W J. Mulley, manager), Gas works, High st.

 

Chelmsford Chronicle, 20 November 1835

Witham lighted with Gas

On the [???] inst. the town of Witham was brilliantly lighted with gas for the first time, and much delight was manifested by the inhabitants at the successful conclusion of their undertaking. A band paraded the town during the evening, and an excellent dinner comprising among other good things, two legs of mutton and some fine ribs of beef, which were cooked [???] was partaken of at the works by the trustees and inspectors, W W Luard esq in the chair. The inhabitants are greatly indebted to the exertions of Messrs Butler, Beadel and Banks, under whose immediate superintendence this invaluable improvement to the town has been effected, and great credit is due to Mr Church, manager of the Chelmsford gas works, for his able execution of the work entrusted to him. There are 80 private and 26 public lamps already fixed, a considerable accession to the former is expected’.

 

1841 census, HO 107/343/16, f.18, p.6, High Street

James Church 45 Gas factor not born in Essex
Mary Church 45 not born in Essex
Robert Church 20 Gas factor not born in Essex
John Church 15 Cutler ap not born in Essex
Emily Church 11 not born in Essex
Mary Church 9 mo born in Essex
/
Eliza Shelley 20 Dress maker born in Essex

 

Chelmsford Chronicle, 16 September 1842, page 3

‘Dinner to Thomas Butler, Esq. On Monday last, the shareholders of the Witham Gas Works gave a dinner to Thos Butler Esq, their treasurer, in acknowledgement of his exertions in their behalf, the gas being remarkably good, and an annual dividend of 7½ per cent having been paid during the last two years. On the occasion about twenty gentlemen sat down to an excellent dinner at the Blue Post Inn, when W W Luard, Esq. presided, with E N Banks, Esq. as his vice-chairman, and after the usual routine, the chairman in proposing “The health of the Treasurer of the Gas Works,” presented him on the behalf of the shareholders with a very handsome silver inkstand, bearing the following inscription – Presented by the Shareholders of the Witham Gas Works to Thomas Butler, Esq., Their Treasurer, 12 Sep 1842’.

 

1851 census, HO 107/1783, f.209, p.26, schedule 93, Newland Street

James Church Head M 58 Gas factor employing 2 men born Kent, Rochester
Mary Church Wife M 58 Wife of ditto born Kent, Gravesend
Mary Church Dau 10 Scholar born Essex, Witham
Louisa Ely Granddau 9 Visitor born Essex, Witham
Martha Church Granddau 5 Visitor born Essex, Maldon

 

1861 census, RG 9/1107, f.86, p.159, Gas works

Robert Robinson Head M 36 Gas engineer born America
Emily Robinson Wife M 29 born Kent, Chatham
Leila Ada Robinson Dau 3 born Wales, Paxham
Mary Church Visitor Wid 60 Independent born Kent, Gravesend
Sarah Boltwood Serv 15 House servant born Essex, Wickham

 

1871 census, RG 10/1695, f.38, p.1, Newland Street

Robert Robinson H M 48 Manager of gas works employing 2 men and 1 boy born Canada (British subject)
Clementina Thirza Bentall U 24 Companion housekeeper born Essex, Rayleigh
Arthur Robert Robinson S 6 Scholar born Essex, Witham
Lucy Belsham Robinson S 3 Scholar born Essex, Witham
Clement Marten S 16 mo born Essex, Witham

 

1881 census, RG 11/1809, f.50, p.28, schedule 160, Newland Street, Gas house

Robert Robinson H M 56 Gas works manager empl 4 men born Kinsgston, Upper Canada, British subject
Janette Robinson W M 35 Wife born Essex, Rayleigh
Arthur Robinson S U 16 Son born Essex, Witham
Percy Robinson S 13 Scholar born Essex, Witham
Clement Robinson S 11 Scholar born Essex, Witham
Alice Owers Serv 17 Domestic servant general born Essex, White Notley

 

1891 census, RG 12/1425, f.42, p.24, schedule 159, High Street, Gas House

Robert Robinson Head M 66 Manager of Witham Gas Works born Canada
Olivia Robinson Wife M 4-? born Essex, Rayleigh
Percy B? Robinson Son S 23 Engineer, Civil Marine born Essex, Witham
Ellen Coker Serv S 14 General servant domestic born Essex, Goldhanger

 

1901 census, RG 13/1725, f.44, p.13, schedule 101, High Street, gas works

James Croxall Head M 34 Manager Gas works (worker) born Staffs, Burslem
Frances Croxall Wife M 33 born Staffs, Burslem
Eva Croxall Dau 7 born Staffs, Burslem
Gladys Croxall Dau 5 born Staffs, Biddulph
George R Croxall Son 3 born Staffs, Biddulph

 

 

UDC, 18 December 1911

page 9. Gas Company agrees to lay gas main in Guithavon Road and erect lamps at usual cost per lamp. Agreed to have four.

 

UDC, 29 January 1912

page 14. ‘Petition for gas lamps from residents of Chalks Road and Braintree Road was read also a further petition for lamps from residents of Albert Road’. Discussion. Mr Pinkham proposed Gas Company be asked if would lay gas mains and put up lamps if the Council acceded to petition. Approved nem. con.

 

UDC 26 February 1912

page 20. Gas Company agreed mains in Albert Road and extension in Braintree Road and Chalks Road to be further considered. Accept.

 

UDC, 25 March 1912

page 24. Seven lime trees planted in Collingwood Road to replace dead ones. Write to Gas Company informing them that gas escape in Collingwood Road detrimental to trees, please remedy.

page 27. Ask Gas Company for additional terms for lighting street lamps every night from 1 August to 30 April instead of leaving out five nights every full noon as now.

 

UDC, 29 April 1912, Annual meeting

page 33. Gas Company said roots of trees caused the escape of gas. Told to write and say ‘the gas escaped before the trees were planted’.

page 34. Move that Witham Gas Company be asked to stop closure for full moon and reduce price generally.

page 35. Gas Company agreed to gas mains in Braintree Road and Chalks Lane, on conditions.

 

UDC 30 September 1912

page 67. ‘A runaway horse having knocked a tree down in Collingwood Road, this tree and other defective trees were ordered to be replaced’. Write again to Gas Company about damage from their defective mains.

 

Essex County Chronicle, 5 March 1915

page 8 (see xerox on newspaper file). Witham Gas Company. E M Blyth presided at annual meeting. Increased consumption because of presence of soldiers in Witham. Very satisfactory in spite of increased cost of coal. Showroom built at cost of £95. Dividend 7½ %. W Bindon Blood re-elected chair, Blyth vice chair. T Speakman elected director in place of late Mr Cranfield.

 

UDC 30 October 1916

page 349. Writ from Gas Company against Council for not adhering to agreement (probably about street lighting’. To be a meeting.

 

UDC 27 November 1916

page 355. In Camera: Re Gas Company. Terms in letter accepted.

 

Essex Weekly News, 8 March 1918, page 6

‘Witham Gas Company. Yesterday the 58th annual meeting of the Witham Gas Co was held, Mr E M Blyth, chairman, presiding. The report stated that the business continued to be in a satisfactory condition. Two cottages adjoining the Company’s premises had been purchased to provide additional storage room when required. The directors, after careful consideration, decided to undertake the carting of coal, which they hoped would in future effect a good saving. The balance sheet showed a profit of £435 4s 4d upon an outlay of £5,706 14s 2d, against £583 1s 5d upon an outlay of £5,140 3s 9d last year. The report and balance sheet were adopted and a dividend of 6% declared. Messrs S Abrey, D Brown and N Linley Howlett were re-elected directors and Mr W G Naylor was re-appointed auditor’.

 

Essex Weekly News, 14 March 1919, page 6

Annual meeting of Gas Co on March 6. Mr E M Blyth presided. Dividend of 6 per cent declared [no other info]

 

Braintree and Witham Times, March 1930

Looked for anything on AGM 20 March when several directors gave up, but couldn’t find.

 

Braintree and Witham Times, August 1930

Looked for anything on meeting 1 August but couldn’t find.

 

Braintree and Witham Times, 28 November 1930

page 4 (xerox of whole page is on newspaper file)

col 3. ‘Artful Thief at Witham. Gasworks stoker heavily fined for stealing boots’. Arthur Shelley, young stoker, of Maldon Road. Two pairs of boots. Strenuous denials. Inspector Girt called him ‘an artful and petty thief’’. Magistrates convicted. Fined £10 or 2 months in prison. Bricklayer from London said he’d left boots over weekend. Shelley said he’d bought them in Chelmsford market and had them repaired by Charles Walter Rallings of Mill Lane, Witham. Another prosecutor, Robert Treacher, had lost shoes. Police sergeant Claydon and Supt Whiting. Shelley a single man. Others things missed. No previous convictions and excellent character as workman. So fined and to pay £1 a week. Earned 58s per week.

 

Braintree and Witham Times, March/April 1931

Looked for anything on AGM 30 March when all new directors but couldn’t find.

 

Braintree and Witham Times, 25 February 1932, page 4

Leader about Witham siren. At Gas works and needs 40lb pressure to fire it. Usually police tell gas works to fire it. Perhaps electric would be better.

 

Braintree and Witham Times, 7 April 1932, page 10

James Croxall retired on 31 March after 33 years, reaching age of 65. Gas works remodelled since he came.

 

Braintree and Witham Times, March/April 1932

Looked for anything on AGM 28 March when all new directors but couldn’t find.

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 19 October 1932

page 47. Heard that Gas Company plan to put new gas main in Church Street from White Horse corner to Chalks Lane and through Chalks Lane to Braintree Road. Footpath will be broken up. No notice received.

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 16 November 1932

Gas mains now done in Church Street etc.

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 14 December 1932

page 66. Rev Campbell has suggested ‘that the light now at Chipping Hill immediately opposite the cottage site purchased from Mr Richards, be moved nearer the Pillar Box close to Mr Doole’s shop. This spot is in darkness and formerly a gas lamp was there which was very convenient for persons using the box at night’. Yes.

Also ask Gas Company to ‘move a gas standard now standing on the island in Avenue Road outside Messrs Cooper Taber’s factory, ‘to make room for the electric lamp now on that corner to be removed there to improve lighting there’.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 19 November 1935

page 201. Housing for aged persons. Proceed on revised estimates. Ministry of Health wanted price reducing by £10 per bungalow. Include increasing lavatory space to give enough room for baths in future but not necessary to have baths now. Gas Company to pipe bungalows and lights and coppers free.

 

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 17 June 1936

page 422. East Anglian Electricity Supply Co don’t want to quote for fire alarms. So ask if Crittall’s and Witham Gas Co will agree to use their hooters for next 12 months.

 

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 15 July 1936

page 465. Gas Company agreeable to using hooter at night as fire alarm. Recommend it be retained as such

 

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 18 November 1936

page 583. Ask Gas Company to quote for two lamps in Homefield Road.

 

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 18 November 1936

page 583. Ask Gas Company to quote for two lamps in Homefield Road.

page 584. OK for Gas Company to open Chalks Lane to lay gas mains.

 

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 16 December 1936

page 627. Quotes from Gas Company for two lights at Homefield Road [electricity also seem to have quoted but gas a bit less and accepted]

 

UDC Housing Committee, 15 March 1937

page 712. Accept offer from Gas Company to ‘carcase’ Church Street houses (52 of them, probably east side) and fix lighting in each room with point for cooking, at no cost to Council.

 

Braintree and Witham Times, 12 January 1939, page 1

Advert. ‘The Witham Gas Light and Coke Company Ltd. invite you to a further series of Cookery Demonstrations at the British Legion Hall, Mill Lane, Witham commencing at 3 p.m., Thursday, January 26th. Menu for first week will be puddings for all seasons’.

 

Essex Weekly News, 5 October 1945, page 14

‘WITHAM GAS LIGHT AND COKE COMPANY, LTD., ECONOMY IN THE USE OF GAS.

The Company respectfully begs to urge on all consumers the imperative need for the utmost economy in the use of gas from now and during the coming winter.

With such co-operation it should be possible to meet all reasonable demands, but otherwise it is more than likely that pressures may again have to be reduced.

DON’T WASTE GAS. TURN OFF THAT TAP.

S F Gardiner, Engineer and Manager, 2nd October 1945’.

 

From ERO online catalogue

ERO D/DU 56/5

Estate Auction book (name of auctioneers on cover in Messrs Coote and Abrey of Witham). A few entries relate to auctions of shares in the … ‘Witham Gas Company’, (p. 127) … 1858-1888 9

T/P 175/10/3 Sale catalogue of shop and dwelling house in Newland St., Witham; cottages in Wickham Bishops; shares in Witham Gas Co., 1905
D/F 27/7

Minute book of meetings of directors and shareholders of Witham Gas Light and Coke Company (see separate doc for notes)

D/P 30/24/20 Special district rate for lighting by gas
1857-1859       D/P 30/24/16 Special district rate for lighting by gas.
1860-1868       D/P 30/24/17 Special district rate for lighting by gas
1863-1866       D/P 30/24/18 Special district rate for lighting by gas
1867                D/P 30/24/19 Special district rate for lighting by gas

 

Gas company, Transco records

From A2A web site, March 2004

 

Reference Code: EA:WIG. WITHAM GAS LIGHT AND COKE COMPANY

Creation dates: 1926 – 1949. 2 FILES. Held at: Transco plc.

Administrative History

Formed in 1860. On Nationalisation in 1949 the undertaking became part of the Chelmsford Group of the Ipswich Division of EGB

EA:WIG/A/M/1

Minute Book of Directors’ meetings 8 Oct 1926 – 27 Apr 1949. Creation dates: 1926 – 1949.

EA:WIG/E/F/1

Three black and white photographs of new gas holder foundation. Creation dates: 1948.

 

Reference Code: EA:BIG. BRITISH GAS LIGHT COMPANY LTD (CENTRAL OFFICE)

Creation dates: 1824 – 1949. Held at: Transco plc

Administrative History

The British Gas Light Company was formed in 1824 with the objective “.. to contract with and supply Light to Towns or Places that may require Gas.” The first permanent chairman was Jacob George Wrench, appointed in May 1825. In 1829 an AoP was obtained which incorporated the London station and effectively separated the London undertaking from the rest of the company’s undertakings. The incorporated London company operated mainly in the east end of London until 1852 when it was purchased by the Commercial Gas Co. Lighting contracts were obtained in Limehouse, Whitechapel and Mile End. Offers to purchase the works of the Poplar GLCo and the Ratcliff GLCo came to nothing, although after the 1829 Act was obtained, the Co extended its area of supply to districts previously supplied by the Imperial GC and the chartered Gas Light and Coke Co.

After the Act of 1829, the unincorporated part of the company (known as the Provincial Co) established by Deed of Settlement operated seven stations at Norwich, Hull, Trowbridge, the Potteries, Holywell, Ayr and Clonmel in Ireland. In 1857 it was incorporated as a Joint Stock Co with Limited Liability and then in 1924 the constitution was altered by the substitution of a Memorandum and Articles of Association for the original Deed of Settlement. The headquarters of the company were originally in George Yard, Lombard St, London until 1922 when they moved to No.2, The Abbey Garden, Westminster.

The most important stations of the British GLCo were at Norwich and Hull, both purchased in 1825. The company purchased the Norwich Gas Light Company (formed in 1820) which provided oil-gas and operated from a works in the parish of St Stephen. It also established a major coal gas works at Hull, on land at Sculcoates. In 1830 the Company decided to convert the Norwich works to coal gas manufacture and to expand to a new site at Bishop Bridge. By 1853 another new works was completed at St Martin-at-Palace (See EA:NOU). In 1883 the BGLCo erected chemical works at Great Yarmouth, the raw by-products being conveyed from Norwich by river. The Hull works operated alongside the works of the Kingston upon Hull GLCo and later the East Hull Gas Co (See NE:HUB). The works at Ayr were sold to a private owner in 1832 and the undertaking at Clonmel was sold in 1895. The station at the Staffordshire Potteries was sold to Stoke on Trent Borough Council in 1922.

The British GLCo was unique in that it was not only an undertaker in its own right but it also eventually had a controlling interest in 21 gas companies. By 1949 it had 18 subsidiary undertakings in the Eastern GB as well as operating 10 stations of its own, including Aylsham (1933), Bletchley(Fenny Stratford) (1928), Brandon (1935), Chatteris (1938), Diss (1935), Downham Market (1932), Harleston (1928), Mildenhall (1936), Norwich (1857), Thetford, and Wickham. (See EA:EA). Under the Gas Act 1948, special arrangements were made to transfer local undertakings to the relevant Area Gas Board concerned. The records of the Limited Co were retained within the Eastern Gas Board.

[earlier files not noted as not relevant to Witham]

EA:BIG/A/M/11

Minute Book A of the Court of Directors 8 Jan 1930 – 1 Nov 1933

EA:BIG/A/M/12

Minute Book B of the Court of Directors 15 Nov 1933 – 29 Sep 1937

EA:BIG/A/M/13

Minute Book C of the Court of Directors 13 Oct 1937 – 24 Jun 1942

EA:BIG/A/M/14

Minute Book D of the Court of Directors 15 Jul 1942 – 10 Dec 1947

EA:BIG/A/M/15

Minute Book E of the Court of Directors 21 Jan 1948 – 30 Apr 1949

EA:BIG/A/M/16

Minute Book S of the Works Committee Meetings 22 Oct 1930 – 12 Aug 1942

EA:BIG/A/M/17

Minute Book T of the Works Committee Meetings 23 Sep 1942 – 27 Apr 1949

EA:BIG/F/R/1

Bundle of miscellaneous receipts. Creation dates: 1948 – 1949

EA:BIG/L/T/1

British Gas Light Company Ltd and subsidiary companies Register of Deeds (Aylsham to Witham undertakings) 10 Oct 1849 – 14 Aug 1947

EA:BIG/P/L/1

Salaries and Emoluments Register with details of employees including Date of Birth, date entering service and wage details. Creation dates: 1930 – 1949

EA:BIG/P/P/1

Register of Pensions and Allowances, British Gas Light Company, 1 Jul 1930 – 25 Jun 1947


 


Email exchange with National Gas Archive, Transco, March 2004 (latest first)

To: Janet Gyford <janet@gyford.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2004 12:46:04 +0100
Dear Ms Gyford,
I am sorry for the delay in contacting you, however I was unable to attend to your enquiry last week. I have now checked the trade directories which list the Witham Gas Light and Coke Co. as a subsidiary of the British Gas Light Co. from 1934. I have checked the minute book for years 1933-34 but can find no mention of this apart from a note of a loan from the BGLC for £3000 in February 1933. The Deeds register mentioned has two pages of deeds pertaining to Witham. I have looked at the plans which show very little other than a dotted line showing the boundary of the site they do not indicate the layout of the plant etc. and I do not think they would be of interest to you. I f you would care to send a postal address I would be prepared to photocopy the pages from the deed register and the photographs free of charge as we normally provide up to 10 pages free of charge.

To: Janet Gyford <janet@gyford.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 16:17:02 +0000
From: archive@uktransco.com
Message sent by Elaine Brison
Janet,
If you don’t select the ‘catalogue in full’ button on A2A then you will just get entries that include the search term you used. I have attached our list for EA:WIG
(See attached file: EA Witham GLCC.doc)
I am now away until Monday but will then look at the deed register and plans (these may be very similar/duplicates) and let you know what I think its worth having copies of and therefore costs. I’ll also look for details of the BGLC acquisition of Witham in the trade directories and let you know what I can find out.
I will contact you again on Monday
Elaine
National Gas Archive
Europa Court, Europa Boulevard
Warrington WA5 7TN
Tel: 01925 425741
Fax: 01925 425748
email: enquiries@gasarchive.org
www.gasarchive.org

From Janet Gyford
<janet@gyford.com>
To: archive@uktransco.com
cc:
17/03/04 12:06 Subject: Re: witham gas light and coke company
Hello Elaine
Many thanks for replying so quickly.
I can’t find any individual EA:WIG references on the A2A site (for instance about the photos you mention), so if you had a list that would be most helpful.
Would it be feasible to order some photocopies by post, e.g. of the relevant pages in the Deeds register EA:BIG/L/T/1, and of the plans you mention in EA/SA/WIG?
As far as I can tell from the company records at the PRO, the British Gas Light Company Ltd started to take over the Witham company in 1930 – if there is any more precise information about this anywhere, it would be useful.
Many thanks again
Janet
At 09:54 17/03/04 +0000, you wrote:
Message sent by Elaine Brison
Dear Ms Gyford,
thank you for your enquiry re Witham Gas light and Coke Company we do not have any further records for the actual Gas Light and Coke Company but do have further records pertaining to the Witham undertaking after Nationalisation of the Gas Industry in 1949 as below, ‘Block plans’ are very simple outlines of where buildings stood on the site:
EA:EA/SA/WIG WITHAM
ESTATE & PROPERTY
EA:EA/SA/WIG/E/E | ESTATE DRAWINGS
1 Block and floor plan for 86 High Street Drawing. No. S475. 1957
2 Block plan of gas holder site, London Road Drawing No. S495/1A. 1984
3 Block plan gas holder site Drawing No. S495/2. 1985

With regards to the references you found on A2A the EA/BIG/L/T/1 is a deeds register which means this does not include the deeds its self but is simple a log book of all deeds created usually giving the names of the parties involved and the land/purpose

The EA:WIG refs are fairly self explanatory – photographs being photographs though I have to say ‘gas holder foundations’ are not very interesting being little more that a hole in the ground. The minute book is a bound volume that holds the official record of meetings held, usually listing those present and itemising matters discussed. The archives are avbailable for viewing by appointment and copying facilities are available at a cost of 20p photocopy (A3 & A4) and £5 per plan copy, Laser prints are also available of photographs at £4 per copy, all copyright lies with the National Gas Archive.
I hope this has been of some use,
Elaine Brison
Assistant Archivist
Janet Gyford
janet@gyford.com

To: enquiries@gasarchive.org
16/03/04 12:49 Subject: witham gas light and coke company
Hello gas archive
I see from the A2A web site that you have some records of the Witham Gas Light and Coke Company in Essex (your ref EA:WIG). Would it be possible for you to tell me a bit more about what these documents comprise, and also whether you have anything else about that company ? I also see Witham referred to under the British Company (EA:BIG/L/T/1) and would be interested in that too.
Many thanks
Janet Gyford


GAS WORKS in ESSEX Locations and Key Dates
from John Horne’s gasworks gazetteer, supplied by Michael Leach of Essex Arch and Hist Soc, March 2004

Gasworks which were for the exclusive supply of particular private houses, institutions or factories are listed elsewhere. Most of the Essex gasworks trading in May 1949 were vested in the Eastern Gas Board, the remainder (already owned by the Gas Light & Coke Company), becoming part of the North Thames Gas Board.

Corrections and additional information would be welcome. Please contact John Horne on 023 8046 3139. This version updated 8-7-2001 [Address given for him by Michael Leach: Heathermount, Moor Hill Road, West End, Southampton SO30 3AW. ]

WITHAM, High Street/Mill Lane/Roman Road, Essex n45-11, TL 8241 1542
[1835. Gas plant supplied by the Neath Abbey Ironworks; drawings held by the Glamorgan Archive Service. Glamorgan archives claim in email 29 March to JG that these plans are actually Witham in Somerset; John Horne is investigating]

Richard Stevens was listed as Secretary in the 1859 and 1867 P.O.Directories. He was also a Solicitor and Clerk to the Commissioners of Land and Taxes.

1860: Formation of Witham Gas Light & Coke Company.

In 1870 and 1886 Richard Stevens was secretary. Frank Postle Bawtree was Secretary in 1900. Robert Robinson was manager in 1870 and 1900 (Kelly’s Directory) but GWD&S lists J.Croxall as Manager in 1900.

In 1929 James Croxall was Manager. The Joint Secretaries were Hugh and John Fras  Bawtree.

Control acquired by the British Gas Light & Coke Co.Ltd.

In 1937 W.J.Mulley was Manager. The make that year was 23.8m from 1,504 tons of coal.

By 1948 S.F.Gardiner had taken over as local Engineer & Manager and the make was 36m. Gardiner also managed Halstead and other BGL subsidiaries

1950    Gasmaking ceased during the latter part of the year.

WITHAM HOLDER STN., Essex n45-12
The Chelmsford to Colchester main passed through Witham.
The holder(s) had been demolished by October 1985.


 

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