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The_Raw

UK Gas Holder 13, Old Kent Rd, South London - June 2014

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These three redundant gasholder frames are all that remain of the once extensive South Metropolitan Gas Company works on Old Kent Road.

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I climbed this in the early hours after a long night of doing other stuff with Elliot5200 and Gabe, and a friend who stayed at the bottom for this one. We nearly sacked it off as the weather conditions were deteriorating and broad daylight was already upon us, but nevertheless we found ourselves at the bottom looking up and had to go for it. I noticed the previous day that the security hut had been partially boarded up and had signs of squatter's dirty laundry inside which I took as a good sign for the current status of the 2 gas holders that sit directly behind it.

Here's some history: In 1829, the South Metropolitan Gas Company was formed and selected a site for works adjoining the Grand Surrey Canal on the eastern side of Old Kent Rd. The works were completed by 1833 and the company's offices added in 1834. Barges were acquired to bring in coal and by 1856 there were seven gasholders on the site. The works was rebuilt around that time further east along Old Kent Road where the gas holders currently still stand, both date back to the 1870s.

I was unable to find out how long these have been redundant for, at least I hope they were redundant...there was quite a strong smell of gas coming from below..... :tumbleweed

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A World War 2 bomb was found at the site of the main gas holder in the 1950s as shown below.

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Onto my pics, all handheld with shaky hands but came out pretty well considering! This shot was taken the previous day with my phone.

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Access was pretty straight forward so we left our bags at the bottom and began our ascent up the first of five ladders. This was my first gasometer and straight away I felt particularly nervous about there being no cage around the ladder for protection, just a sheer drop all the way down.

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It got more intense towards the top, not helped by the several beers that we'd drunk beforehand although I may not have made it onto the ladder without those.... :beer:

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We got to the top, soaked up the views for a few minutes and took some snaps, the weather vane was a nice feature up there and there was a walkway around the top but we could feel the rain starting so it made sense to get back down quickly.

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I felt pretty proud of myself once I'd reached the bottom, I know these aren't difficult for a lot of people but it put my fear of heights to the test more than anywhere I've been so far. Now that I've looked back at my photos I'm keen to see more of these beasts before they all disappear from our landscape. Anyway, thanks for taking a look :thumb

Edited by The_Raw

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Cheers guys, from what I've read these are on their way out so glad to have done one and got a couple of other more tricky ones in mind ;)

:comp:

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Very cool stuff mate :D, ive still not done one of these.. nearly did one but had a close encounter with a animal that went Woof several times....

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So much respect, your balls are bigger than mine fella!!

you'd have laughed if you'd seen the look on my face throughout the experience ;)

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