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Sent in by John Nutt
Raunds - Lost Landmarks

From Rance Review July 2013, by John Nutt

The Gasometers

From the mid nineteenth century Raunds had its own Gaslight and Coke Company producing coal gas for street lighting, for lighting and cooking in homes and for power in the local boot and shoe factories. The gasworks stood at the bottom end of Wellington Road and its entrance faced Titty Ho. Just inside the gate was a weighbridge, from which Weighbridge Way gets its name. It was used for weighing incoming lorries loaded with coal and outgoing lorries loaded with coke which was a by-product of the gas making process.

The most obvious sign of the purpose of the site was the presence of the two gas holders which were commonly known as gasometers. The original one stood to the left of the main building so was off Grove Street. The other, newer one, was a little further up the hill and closer to the road. The older one was always full of gas, so retained its maximum height, but the other went up and down depending on the volume of gas it contained.

The photographs were taken in the back garden of number 16 Wellington Road about 1950. The newer gasometer can be seen in the background. The gasworks was closed and the gasometers removed soon after North Sea gas became available in the late 1960s.

Gas Holders in the background
gasholder in the background
Back row l-r: John Nutt, Terry Pollard, Malcolm Pollard, Barry Payne

Middle row: Patrick Smith, Peter Moulton, ***, Annette Pollard (with kitten)

Front row: Margaret Smith, ***, Michael Pollard, ***
The three unidentified girls were visitors.

gasholders in the background
Terry Pollard, John Nutt and Cyril Pollard

The Tannery Chimney - Rance Review Summer 2012, by John Nutt, formerly of Wellington Road

This photograph shows the structure which I recall as the tannery chimney. I was born and brought up in its shadow. It was built as part of a boot and shoe factory, the Wellington Works, owned by Stanley Brothers. The arch over the original factory gate in Wellington Road is still there with a high boot atop it. Following a serious fire in 1917, the premises were sold and rebuilt to become the Wellington Tannery.

The scene in Grove Street shows, on the left, the bay window of what was, then, the Bird in Hand pub. The furthest building on the right was, in my time, Mr Fred Farrington’s farmhouse. Between the farmhouse and the next building closer to the camera was the entrance to the farmyard, which extended behind the thatched cottages. The tall trees beyond the farmhouse occupied the site about where the telephone exchange now stands.

The photo is on the front of a postcard produced by March, Stationer, Raunds. The card bears a halfpenny stamp with the head of King Edward VII and is clearly postmarked RAUNDS DEC 23 1904.

Minney Wingell, from whom the card was purchased, is listed on the 1881 census as aged 13, the oldest of six children of William and Eliza Wingell at the Wheat Sheaf Drapers Shop, High Street, Raunds. William’s occupation is given as Tailor, Draper and Publican.

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