Gasworks memorial installed in New Southgate park

National Grid donation ensures area’s industrial past will be remembered, reports James Cracknell

The gasholder finials at Millennium Green
Pictured from left at Millennium Green; Chris Taylor from National Grid, Aurther Honour from New Southgate Millennium Green Trust, Friern Barnet and District Local History Society chair David Berguer, and society member Colin Barratt

Part of New Southgate’s gasholder heritage will remain in the area, following a donation by National Grid.

During the dismantling of the gasholder in Station Road last year, two finials – a decorative part of the structure – were preserved before being donated to Friern Barnet and District Local History Society.

The finials have now been placed in Millennium Green. An interpretation board will also be added to help showcase the history of gas production in the area.

Colin Barratt, from the society, said: “We were delighted when National Grid approached us to help preserve part of New Southgate’s industrial heritage. We’re extremely grateful to Millennium Green Trust for agreeing to the placement of the finials on Millennium Green, so close to their original home.”

The gasholder in Station Road was constructed circa 1912 by Samuel Cutler and Sons of Millwall, on an undeveloped corner of the site which was owned by Tottenham and District Gas Company. It stored gas produced on the wider site, until the discovery of natural gas in the early 1960s. It continued to store gas until improvements in the network meant gas could be stored in underground pipes.

The finials that have been restored were located at the top of the 20 steel columns that supported the gasholder structure. During the 1940s, numerous high explosive bombs hit the area surrounding the site, but fortunately it avoided any direct hits.

The dismantling project, which took six months to complete, is part of National Grid’s wider UK scheme to bring its land back into beneficial use. Chris Taylor, land regeneration manager for National Grid, said: “While working in the area, it was really important to the team to support community and heritage initiatives, in a variety of ways.

“Working with Friern Barnet and District Local History Society has been a fantastic way to engage with the community and National Grid is delighted that part of the former gasholder is on display close to the site.

“Knowing that the local community can continue to enjoy the site’s history in this way is very rewarding.”

Plans were submitted earlier this year for a 19-storey housing development on the former New Southgate gasworks.