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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 31 - Spring 1977

Waddesdon Gasworks

qn_31_11.jpg  (41,072 bytes)

J R Fairman - The Manager's House

I wonder how many visitors to Quainton remember the Gasworks which once supplied Waddesdon with gas. No, I am not referring to the Works which served Waddesdon Manor and which was illustrated in Ken Jones's Book on the Wotton Tramway, but to the Village Works which was in regular use for nearly half a century until it closed in 1938.

It is believed that the manufacture of gas started about 1888 from premises in Quainton Road opposite to Mr A J Taylor's Mill. This Mill building is still standing with its distinctive square brick chimney. The Gasworks Site is now occupied by Greenwoods Transport, a Subsidiary of Ameys of Oxford and is used as a Depot. At the left of the entrance gate is the house, formerly occupied by the Manager, which at one time had a wooden noticeboard over the door giving the Owner's Name "The Provincial Gas & Lighting Works Ltd." of St Stephen's Chambers, Telegraph Street, London E C. When I visited the Site in April 1975, I found some of the old buildings were still in use for their new owners. Inside the premises and opposite the gate was the former Coal Store which was in use as a Garage and Offices. My guide explained that they had been troubled by birds nesting under the roof ridge and to stop the appearance of the lorry cabs from being defaced by the birds, some drivers had fixed a board under the ridge to catch the droppings! We examined the board and found it was the old wooden noticeboard which had formerly been fixed on the Manager's house. This has been saved and is now restored and kept by Southern Gas.

When the Works opened, a Mr Parkes was the Manager. He was very much a Working Manager. He was stoker, pipe-layer, fitter, meter collector and clerk and did many other jobs besides. It was a full -time occupation. Other Managers in later days were Messrs Ireland, Overy, Potter, Rhodes, Gould and Sullivan. Mr Sullivan is believed to have been the Manager when the Works closed in 1938. One man who assisted at the Works was Albert Evans who came from the Manor Gasworks when it closed about 1926 and he then worked with Mr Gould.

The coal came from Quainton Road Station by horse-drawn tip-cart and about 300 tons a year was carbonised. The Company was formed in 1887 with a share capital of £2,300. By 1914, it had 83 consumers in the Village and there were 18 public street lamps.

The noticeboard already referred to states that Mr R S Mayne was the Secretary in the 1930's. In the Gas Journal for 11 May 1938, an advertisement appeared, worded as follows:-

By Order of the Liquidator, Messrs H W Smith & Moon are
instructed to Offer for Sale by Tender, in One Lot, the whole of
Plant, Equipment, Stores and Effects of the Waddesden
the Plant, Equipment, Stores and Effects of the Waddesden
Gasworks adjoining to Quainton Road, Waddesden, near
Aylesbury, Bucks. Comprising: Gas Holder 9500 cu ft capacity;
a Station Cl Meter, 4" Governor, 2 Purifiers, Scrubber, 4 hp
National Gas Engine, Exhauster and Governor, 119 Gas Meters,
50 Gas Cookers, New Compo, Gun Metal and Iron, 14 Cl Lamp
Standards, Miscellaneous Tools and Effects.
On View Tuesday 24 May and Tenders to be delivered by noon
Wednesday 25 May 1938 to H W Smith & Moon, Auctioneers and
Surveyors, 6 Great James Street, London WC1, from whom Forms
of Tender may be obtained."

Coal for the local Gasworks was one of those jobs carried out by the local Station for the local Community in those days of yesteryear.

If any Readers remember the Works and its operation, I should be pleased to hear from them.

Spelling of Waddesdon in the above is as per original

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1977 and so does not reflect events in the 38+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Waddesdon Gasworks - Quainton News No. 31 - Spring 1977

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 11 November 2017