Find out more about Greenwich’s gas industry with the Charlton Society

East Greenwich Gasholder
The recently-demolished gas holder was part of the former East Greenwich Gas Works

If you’re still mourning the loss of the gasholder next to the Blackwall Tunnel, which was finally dismantled last year, and curious about the old gas works that used to stretch out across the Greenwich Peninsula, then you can find out more this weekend with an online talk from local historian Mary Mills.

The Zoom chat is part of the Charlton Society‘s monthly programme of Saturday talks, which would normally take place at Charlton House, but has been running virtually during the pandemic.

The early gas industry was a hotbed of fraud and scandal – and the scandals around Greenwich’s first gas works led to the collapse of the ruling party and resignation of the Town Clerk in the 1820s. There were other gas works in Woolwich – with more scandals – even one in Eltham. Eventually, as everyone knows, Greenwich ended up with the biggest, the latest and the most perfect gas works ever – plus, of course, the recent scandalous demolition of our largest-in-the-world gas holder.

Mary Mills, well known to our regular members, has been around in Greenwich for years and it was while working at Charlton Library in the 1970s that she became hooked on local industrial history and has written a lot about it since. She was one of the founders of Greenwich Industrial History Society and has a PhD in the history of the gas industry.

The talk begins at 2.15pm on Saturday for a 2.30pm start and is open to both members and non-members – you can join the session here.

To find out more about The Charlton Society’s talks and how to join, visit


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