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Quorn Gas Works - Early Days

Today, most of us like to think of Quorn as a large, but rural village. However in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Quorn had significant industrial elements and was regarded as a small town. This is evident in one respect by the fact that Quorn had its own Gas Works, which was constructed in 1853 by the River Soar on land called 'The Brinks', off Leicester Road.

In 1938, After 85 years, Quorn Gas Works stopped producing gas and Quorn drew its gas supply from Loughborough. However the gasometers were still used for storing gas locally and continued until 1966. Shortly after this, they were demolished and the area was replaced by a small housing development called ‘The Brinks’.

Joseph Camm was the first manager of the Gas Works in 1853. He was also a schoolmaster, farmer and map-maker. Later his son James would follow in his footsteps and become the Gas Works Manager, also undertaking other jobs, including rate collector and registrar of births marriages and deaths.

Coal was delivered to a wharf by barge from Derbyshire. Anecdotally, ‘gas works’ are always said to smell. This would appear to be borne out by documents which record that sometimes in Quorn, the smell 'was abominable and detrimental to health'. This was because gas was difficult to purify.

The coming of gas meant that Quorn was one of the earlier villages in Leicestershire to have street lighting. This was finally changed to electricity in 1957. Another function of the gas works was to sell coke to the public for their house heating and as a result, a weighbridge was installed in 1930.

This photograph was taken between 1905 and 1909 by William Shuttlewood, who was the chemist in Quorn and a keen photographer.

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 Submitted on: 2011-11-23
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman
 Artefact ID: 1431
 Artefact URL: www.quornmuseum.com/display.php?id=1431
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own (new browser tab).

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