Pupils went back in time with National Grid to learn about the important role the gas industry has played in Swindon’s past.
National Grid and Hydrock representatives spent a morning exploring the history of the former gasworks in Gipsy Lane, with year six pupils at the Grange Junior School in Grange Drive on Thursday 3 December.
Starting in the 19th century the New Swindon Gas Company made so called ‘town gas’ from coal at the site. Gas production continued for around a century until the discovery of natural gas in the North Sea in the 1960s. The gas holders continued to be used for gas storage until changes in technology made them obsolete and they were subsequently removed.
The pupils learned about life in Victorian times before getting hands-on with an experiment to turn solids and liquids into gas. They also tried on some of the safety gear which would have been used by gas workers at Gipsy Lane, which taught them about the importance of safety and protective clothing.
Andy Williams, Science Co-ordinator for Grange Federation said, “It was a fantastic opportunity to have the National Grid team visit us at the Grange, our pupils were left with a new appreciation for energy and where it comes from. The children enjoyed learning about Swindon’s history and getting experimental with gases. The session was a great mix of local history and science.”
Samantha Rendell, Land Regeneration Manager at National Grid, added: “We want to thank the pupils and staff at Grange Federation for their warm welcome. Sharing the knowledge and experience we have at National Grid with the community is an important part of us acting as a responsible business. Using our education sessions to enhance the curriculum for young people in history and science benefits their learning and inspires future engineers. We really enjoyed delivering the session and showing the children the important role gas has played in Swindon’s history.”
National Grid’s work to clean up the site began in August this year and is due to be completed later this month (December 2015). The work has involved clearing the grounds of materials leftover from the days when the site was operational, which will free up the land for redevelopment.
Anyone wanting more information on the work can contact the National Grid Community Relations team on 0800 073 1047. The line is open from 7am -7pm Monday to Friday and 7am-1pm on Saturday.