>There was a large Gas Works in Basford (just to the north west
This used to fascinate me as a child. We could never actually see
Gas Works towers moving up and down. When you took the bus into town
the towers would be quite low and by the time you were coming back they
had mysteriously filled. While I was over there on holiday, my
girlfriend & I were trying to explain to her two kids about the Gas
Works; unfortunately they were closed in the mid 70's and are in the
process of being cleaned up. They were deemed an environmental hazard a
number of years ago and it was too expensive at the time to remove the
contaminated soil. Along with the renovations being made to the old
Shipstones Brewery across the street, maybe some life will be injected
into the old area.
and also a Steel Works at Staveley (to the west of
>Nottingham) - but perhaps this is in Derbyshire ..... can anybody
>help me as I can't find it on my map?
The Stanton and Staveley Company had iron works at several sites,
including blast furnaces and coke ovens. These were old fashioned coke
ovens which may have used a "cinder-drawer".
One of the larger works is at Staveley near Chesterfield in Derbyshire
(SK4374), the town of the crooked spire. Another is near Stanton by Dale
(SK4638), just north of a line between Nottingham and Derby to the west
of the M1 motorway.
My Dad used to work at Stanton & Staveley for Avery Scale for approx. 20
years. He used to take Nottingham Road into Ilkeston (Derbyshire) and
turned off by the Gallows Inn Bridge. That road would double back
through the Stanton works and bring you back onto Nottingham Road.
There were New Works furnaces on one side of the road and the Old Works
furnaces across the way. Most of the works have since been pulled down,
with only the concrete & iron refinery still there.
As for the original question about the professions, Dad says that they
are the same thing. A man would fill a metal box, roughly 2 storeys
high, with coal dust and then the whole lot would be set on fire. The
extracts were tar, sulfate of ammonia & benzine. Benzine would be sent
to the refinery for refining into petrol/gasoline. The majority of men
would suffer with chest/breathing problems from the smoke and fumes
given off during this process. The Coke Drawer was the person pushing
the coke out of the oven when it was ready.
Hope that helps!!