PHOTO ESSAY BY RICHARD CHIVERS
Since Victorian times the Gas Holder (or Gasometer as they are sometimes known) has been a prominent feature on the urban skyline across the UK. Built to hold large quantities of Gas, at one time there were 1000s across towns and cities around Britain. With the discovery of Gas in the North Sea in the 1960s and the development of Gas Pipeline technology the Gas Holder slowly became redundant and now each one has closed.
These distinctive and often intricate structures, each different in design, have sat empty for years. The beautiful steel frames serving as a reminder of our industrial heritage and acting as prominent landmarks for people, a nostalgic symbol of a time that has now passed.
The work is made using a large format 5x4 film Camera, its a slow way of working but for the OFF-Grid project there is a nice relationship between the Victorian Gas Holders and the Victorian style camera with its bellows and shift movements.
With most of the Gas Holders now being demolished to use the land for other purposes, this project seeks to capture many of these structures across the UK before they are lost forever.