Port Glasgow Gasworks

The gasworks in Port Glasgow, which were originally constructed in 1830, extended in 1876 some years after the two burghs of Newark and Port Glasgow had been merged into one. The old works had been extended from time to time and new plant provided.

In 1908 the works were considerably altered and enlarged.
In 1914 the then gas manager reported adversely on, the condition of the works, and urged very strongly the erection of complete new works on another site.
Thus felt to be the only satisfactory course for putting the gas supply on a satisfactory basis, but before taking the necessary steps for obtaining a Provisional Order to put down new works enquiry was made- as to obtaining a supply of gas from the neighbouring burgh of Greenock. As there was no reply to this inquiry the Town Council proceeded with their Provisional Order which was passed in 1915

The Provisional Order was granted and a site bought but nothing further was done till the gasholder mishap occurred, when steps were immediately taken to proceed with the new Gasworks. In terms of the purchase, agreement between the Railway Company and the Town Council, the former agreed to lay and maintain, a railway siding connection into the new site, and the Town Council to lay, and maintain, the remainder of the permanent way for the completion of the siding. As the branch railway is at a higher level than the works' ground level, a retaining wall 10ft. high was first erected - in all about 386 feet long.

Some little 'delays took place in proceeding with the new work on account of the serious increase in costs, arising out of war conditions, but in January, 1919, the Council resolved to proceed with the erection of the complete works. The estimated coat of the works was stated to be £55,000. While the total cost had not yet been ascertained in 1921 it was hoped the amount would be within the £106,000 authorised.

He had been assured that their works were second to none and the make of gas per ton of coal had been largely increased compared with the old works. In 1920-1921 the wage bill had actually gone up to £6745, and Mr Cowies estimate for the present year was about fifty percent reduction. That was a big saving. Another big saving would be in the cartage. That amounted to about £700 per annum at the old works, and there would not be any with the new works.

The opening of the new works took place on Wednesday 21st September 1921 with many local business men and councillors in attendance with Provost Mackie leading the occasion. Lunch was supplied by Mr J Marshall Young of the Star Hotel.
The local contractors involved in the building of the works were: Mason and Brick work - McBride & Gray Ltd: Plumbing work - William Wilson & Son: Foundation for gas holder - Alex Wilson & Son: Painter: PO Armour

Some details taken from Port Glasgow Advertiser 1921

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