Our chief difficulty at that time was caused by waterside people insisting on a right-of-way over the old paths which we had not yet removed so we placed a man to divert this traffic; but it was necessary on several occasions to send a gang of men to his assistance. The difficulty, however, was removed as time went on.
|A church service in the works for the blacklegs - replacement workers|
An incident which remains fresh in my memory after many years is our first gasholder mishap. The temperature was below freezing point, and a keen north wind was blowing. The water in the tank slowed no signs of freezing ; but evidently the water in the cups on the northern, side of the holdcr had frozen so rapidly that it escaped notice. As the holder uncuppcd the lift canted towards the south, and with a jerk the other side released itself, parting a scam in so doing. Half an hour after- wards a strong smell of gas was reported on the southern side of the holder, and about the same time it was noticed that the holder was descending at a greater rate than the normal consumption would account for. There being no other holder, very little could be done, and it grounded. The lesson of the mishap was so well learned that a second has never occurred.
The nature of the work and the hours of working have changed considerably since those early days. At that time one of the most important figures on the works was the scoop driver, who needed strength, skill and endurance in a high degree. Although the chief business of the works has been the manufacture of gas, it has been necessary to employ men of many trades, and the works have been beneficial to the town of Greenwich by finding employment for so many men. Many things have happened since I started at East Greenwich. Many old friends have gone, and but few remain. It is good to look back over the years, and to feel satisfaction at having done a man's work among good men. I should like to record my grateful thanks to my old friends, both in the office and the works, for the help
(4) George Livesey - where do I start? The evil genius of the gas workers strike and the man who changed, regulated and modernised the gas industry. Livesey was brought up in the Old Kent Road Gas Works, started work there at the age 14 and remained to become Company Chairman as well as becoming a national figure in the temperence movement.. A clever maverick - he was never ever what people thought he was. Lots of entries about him - look at the index or search - in http://marysgasbook.blogspot.co.uk
|Holders in Blackwall Lane early 20th century|