Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The national charity which campaigns to protect the Victorian and Edwardian historic environment has leapt to the defence of the gas ring, which is due to be demolished to make way for the Haringey Heartlands development between Wood Green and Hornsey.

The gasholder, known as Hornsey no.1, was erected in 1892 and the society described it as “a key part of London’s industrial heritage”.

Heloise Brown, conservation adviser for the Victorian Society, said: “This is not just any old gasholder. Hornsey no.1 will soon be the last surviving example of a highly innovative design and it must not be lost.

“It could be easily incorporated into a new development and keeping the gasholder’s elegant and geometrical frame would provide a link with the past and a remarkable engineering achievement.”

It is one of only two remaining gasholders built using the innovative “geodesic” design said to have inspired the Gherkin skyscraper in the City.

But the other in Tunbridge Wells is already scheduled for demolition to make way for housing.

The Hornsey no.1 gasholder will also be destroyed if the Haringey Heartlands scheme of more than 1,000 new homes and flats is granted planning in the future, and the Victorian Society has written to Haringey Council to object.

Colin Marr, 71, of the Alexandra Palace & Park Conservation Committee, who lives in Muswell Hill, said: “I’m very pleased. The involvement of the Victorian Society is both timely and much appreciated. We will try our hardest to ensure it becomes a listed building.”

But a spokesman for Haringey Heartlands landowners, National Grid and the London Development Agency, said: “The gasholder has twice failed to gain listed status from English Heritage.

“We will continue to push forward plans and the gasholders do not feature in them.” 

Tags for Forum Posts: haringey heartlands, hornsey gasholder

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Oh no - this is a favourite of mine.

Some years ago I had this idea that the disused gasholders, in the hands of a good architect, would make beautiful arts factories, ie  artists' studios and exhibition/gallery spaces. At some time we were talking with Manoz of Collage Arts about Chocolate Factory 3 and 4 on these gasholders, though of course we never really believed that it could happen.

Imagine my surprise last year when I was visiting Athens and a friend took me to a new cultural centre built on the site of disused gasworks, where they did convert the disused gasholders into studios and offices! I took some photographs but (a) I think they don't quite capture the feel one gets there and (b) I think that ours being a bit larger than theirs have more possibilities for more imaginative designs.

I know it sound unrealistic in the current climate, but wouldn't it be just great?



ours being a bit larger than theirs have more possibilities for more imaginative designs

Yes. Just needs some imagination. The straight-line thinking of the powers that be, see this as either gas holder or homes. Why can't we have both? When it comes to things like this I can't help thinking of the song Big Yellow Taxi whose chorus is,

Don't it always seem to go

That you don't know what you got till it's gone

They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot

This gas holder might not be as lovely as the Hawaiian mountains that inspired Joni Mitchell's song, but its an important part of the industrial revolution and our industrial heritage.




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