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Notes and news — April 1973

In this issue:

The oldest gasholder

Hammersmith Council has recently refused listed building consent to the demolition of No. 2 gasholder at Fulham gasworks. This was built c.1830 and is the oldest known gasholder in the world. Now out of use, it is listed Grade II. A short article by Keith Whitehouse appeared in the autumn 1972 'London Archaeologist' and offprints of this can be obtained from Michael Bussell, 21 Fitzgeorge Avenue, W14 by sending a stamped addressed envelope (preferably 9"x4" or larger). Comments on the future of the holder will be welcomed, as it stands in the middle of an active industrial site, posing a number of problems including that of access. Michael Bussell

From Imperial Road © Sidney Ray, 2016

Clapham Transport Museum

After closing at the end of April, the majority of the British Rail exhibits will go to a new museum at York. London Transport's collection, part of which has been kept in store, will be displayed at Syon Park in the near future. 26 major items, including three tramcars, several buses, Metropolitan Railway locomotives and several models. Not far from the Brentford Depot and Transfer Sheds of the Grand Union Canal. Terry G. Thomas

Bear Gardens Museum

A new venture located in an ex-workshop/warehouse (a few bits of equipment remain). The normal theme is angled more to the history of entertainment on the South Bank, but until mid-May there is a good exhibition of local artists' paintings and drawings of warehouses and buildings in the area. Open weekdays and Sunday afternoons (20p). Thumb-nail "broad sheets" on local history on sale (7 for 25p). Not far from two well-known pubs: the Anchor on the riverside and the galleried George. Terry G. Thomas

Visit to two disused Underground stations

A party of 15 visited Down Street and St Mary's underground stations on the afternoon of 31st March.

Down Street (on the Piccadilly line between Hyde Park Corner and Green Park stations) was closed in 1932 on the opening of Green Park Station. The original station frontage still exists and part of it is in use as a travel agents. During the war the below ground portion was used by the Railway Executive and the War Cabinet as 'bomb proof' emergency offices. This was done by building walls along the platform edges. The platform area and also the access passages were then divided into office 'cubicles'. Present access is by the original spiral emergency staircase but the old lift shaft is now full of ventilation equipment.

Down Street. © Robert Mason, 2.10.14

St Mary's is on the District line between Aldgate East and Whitechapel and was closed in 1938. The area above ground has been redeveloped and is now occupied by a petrol filling station. Access is through flush door in the wall of the filling station. Here also walls have been built along the platform edges, the space formed being used as air-raid shelters. These still contain concrete perimeter benches and also two ventilation fans which are arranged so that they can be hand cranked in the event of a power failure. Except for the above and also one stairway (which was removed as it was unsafe) the station remains generally in its original condition. Allan Goode

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© GLIAS, 1973