Two talks organised by the Friends of Watermans Park
The gas works in the 1950’s
February 3, 2023
Watermans Park occupies the site of what was once part of the Brentford Gas Works with the foreshore used for delivery of coal by barges. In 1820 an engineering firm Messrs J & G Barlow secured a contract to light the turnpike road between Kensington and Hounslow (hoping to deter highwaymen along the road) and acquired a quarter of an acre of land (1000 sqm) with 115ft (35m) of riverside in Brentford for their works. This was to become one of the very first gas works in the world.
The river by the park is split in two by Brentford Ait, with the main channel to the south of the Ait. After the gas works were demolished it became useful as an area where boats could exploit the public right of navigation yet be left without interfering with regular traffic on the river. A residential floating community developed from the 1970’s, interspersed with non-residential wrecks.
The Friends of Watermans Park have organised a couple of talks to explore the history of the gas works and some of the wrecks once moored at Watermans which they hope will be of general interest.
Wednesday 15 February at 7pm: Brentford Gas Co and Brentford Gas Works - 1820 to 1988
The talk will be given by David Shailes who is a local historian whose posters in Brentford, mostly along the High Street, last May as part of History Month were much appreciated.
Wednesday 22 March at 7pm: The 'Wrecks' of Watermans Park.
This talk is by Hilary Pereira, the Chair of the River Thames Society Upper Tideway Branch and a Friend.
Lilian – 1916 a gentleman’s yacht built at Södra Varvet, Stockholm. Pictured at Watermans in 1979 – now restored and possibly the world’s oldest surviving diesel yacht.
Both talks will be held at Studio Flox, Ground Floor, Watermans Park Office Building, 44a High Street, Brentford, TW8 0DS. Access is from Watermans Arts Centre car park and Smith Hill.
There’s no charge to attend but reserve your place(s) here.
If you’re interested in joining the Friends contact Philip Jones at email@example.com.
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