Gasworks Jetty

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The Southend Gas Works Jetty was built in 1895 despite the fact that Southend Council had refused planning permission demanding it needed be re-designed, the gas board went ahead and built it anyway. The Gas Company got around the refusal by building the pier in Southchurch which at the time had not been absorbed into Southend, this happened two years later in 1897 by which time the pier was up and operating. At the time of the refusal the Gas Company was richer than the new council which had only been formed in 1882. The Gas Company took Southend Councils request about a design change in to mind when they built the structure, the newly re- designed pier had a unique feature to its design, one that stuck two fingers up at the Council, it was built with a kink in it to represent the boundary kink between Southend and Southchurch! The Gas Works Jetty was an iron and wood pier that straddled the Eastern Esplanade road into the gas works site. The pier operated until the closure of the gas works site in 1968, this saw the rapid demolition of the jetty and gasworks site. The 5 hectare gas works site itself laid empty and unused for 36 years. In August 2004 work commenced on cleansing of the site, it had previously been considered uneconomical to use the land because of the high level of contamination of hydrocarbons and heavy metals on the site. Further investigation also found that much of the underground facilities were still in-situ including gas tanks and feeder pipes, the original hard standings were also discovered to be heavily contaminated. The clean up project included, the removal of the tanks and pipes, the removal cleaning and replenishment of contaminated soil etc. A total of some 15,000 cubic meters of soil was cleaned and re-used on the site. Once this was completed plans were given the go- ahead for the site to be re-developed.
Diagram of the Gas Works Jetty
2 x Photos of the Gasworks Jetty in operation
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