Powering the City
|Why were power stations and gasworks built in East London?|
Among the more important Thames-side industries were gas production and electricity generation. The rise and fall of these two industries reflect the changing fortunes of commerce and industry on the river.
Many of the first gasworks and power stations were built in the eastern part of London where land was freely available and where steam colliers carrying cheap coal from the north of England could easily come up the Thames.
The Metropolitan Building Act of 1844 imposed restrictions on noxious trades in London. This meant that many industrial companies had to move to the East End.
This image shows the jetty at Beckton gasworks, which was 360 metres (about 1100 feet) long. The cranes were used to fill trolleys with coal that were then conveyed along the jetty to the works.
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