We recognise that gasholders are a part of our industrial heritage and undertake historical recording at all our gasholder sites, including Windsor Street. The Windsor Street site has been associated with the gas industry since the 1880s when it was acquired by the Birmingham Corporation to enable the extension of the Windsor Street Gasworks. The gasworks once housed 11 gasholders and when the twin gasholders were built in 1885, they were the largest in the world. By 1928 the gasworks had become the largest gasworks owned by the Birmingham Corporation, occupying an area of 26 acres, and it remained in operation until the late 1980s.
As the Windsor Street gasholders were the last in Birmingham, we commissioned Professor Russell Thomas to produce a booklet on the history of the gas industry in Birmingham.
A history of the gas industry in Birmingham
We have also worked with him to produce a booklet specifically about the Windsor Street site.
Windsor Street Gasworks
Birmingham Heritage Week
Birmingham Heritage Week is an 11 day city-wide festival that celebrates Birmingham’s rich and diverse heritage. National Grid were proud to offer two events in the 2021 programme.
Thinktank Science Museum
The final part of the project was to donate a piece of the gasholders to Thinktank and the Birmingham Museums Trust collection.
One of the connecting plates that joined the “twin” gasholders 13 and 14 was donated to form the centerpiece of an exhibition.
Weighing in at around 400kgs and painted one side claret and one side blue, it sits alongside a pair of waders worn by one of the site workers who had to carry out the messy task of removing sludge from the base of the gasholders during their dismantling.
The exhibition was launched on 8 December 2022 and you can watch a short film of the opening below.