Gas supply to Percy Terrace
The first gas works in Alnwick was believed to be opened in 1817. A licence was granted to William Davison*( Chemist ) to lay gas pipes by the Duke of Northumberland. Payment of one penny was made to the Duke for each house supplied.
No records of pipes laid were kept as this knowledge tended to be passed on by word of mouth. It is therefore difficult to give exact dates for streets or houses supply. However assumptions can be made from other information.
*Mr Davison was also responsible for the publication of Alnwick’s first newspaper – The Alnwick Mercury in 1854 .
15th. May an Act of Parliament was obtained – for lighting and paving, cleansing, watching and otherwise improving the Town of Alnwick.
A new gas light company was proposed. Mr Davison was giving up his gas works- which were thought to be on Green Batt.
A lease between the Duke and eight gentlemen of Alnwick was agreed.
One of these was William Teasdale (draper )-whose widow was to live in Percy House . She was shown as a shareholder in 1856.
The street lighting season was from the end of August until the first of May.
Street lights were on from dusk until midnight; except on full moon nights when the lights were not lit.
The lamp bracket in Percy terrace back lane ( as pictured by Pete and Vee) is an early type. No date found. If one observes the modern light at the top of Upper Dodd’s Lane I think that it is a copy in the style of the early gas lights and uses a similar bracket.
Lights were removed for storage and maintenance out of the lighting season.
Also in this year the gas company supplied gas to the “ Ragged School “ in Lisburn Street. From this one can assume that Percy Terrace had a gas supply also.
Press ads for property to let in Percy Terrace include the advantage of having water and gas laid in (all modern !!)
The first gas heating for bath water was introduced- a burner directly under the bath.
The gas Geyser water heater was introduced. ( The author lived in a flat in Jesmond in the 1960’s which used one of these monsters)
The famous Ascot gas heater was not introduced until the 1930’s- this supplied a continuous (slow ) flow of hot water when turned on .
The first gas cooker was made in Liverpool in 1824
After 1855 new improvements meant that gas cookers and heaters became more popular .
Electricity for public supply in Alnwick became available. This heralded the start of competition for street lighting and later for house supplies.
The incandescent gas mantle was invented . This greatly improved the light given by gas which had been supplied by 2” flame prior to this.
There were 168 gas street lights in Alnwick
Gas was still being installed in new houses for lighting, boilers and cookers.
There were no less than 951 gas cookers in Alnwick
The council changed to electric lighting for new houses
The last 6 gas street lights in Alnwick (Denwick Lane) were stopped.
NOTE: Most of this information comes from Gas in Alnwick 1817-1985 by D.P Dalby, works manager of Alnwick gas works when it closed 1964.