Leicester Gasholder Impressive Internal Structure
06 July 2016
For over 20 years, VHE have played an important part in the redevelopment of many of the gas network sites across the country through Demolition and Remediation projects. Since 2013, we have demolished 11 gas holders across the UK including Barnsley, Blackpool, Wallasey, Sheffield, Lostock Hall, Derby and Warrington.
We are in the process of demolishing a further two gasholders (numbers 5 and 7) at the Aylestone Road site in Leicester which has brought its own unique challenge; this being the Grand Union Canal that runs through the middle of the site. This is an open navigation accessible to boats so particular attention has had to be paid to preparing times for suitable access to be installed across the river to insert heavy plant and remove demolition waste. The periodic installation and removal of a Bailey Bridge on pre-installed footings was considered the best option and so far has served the project well.
The Aylestone Road site of 32 acres was purchased in 1875, bordered on one side by the Midland Railway Burton branch line, on another side by the Grand Union Canal, and on the third by the main Leicester to Rugby road, now the A426. Production commenced in 1878 and finished in 1969 with the majority of gasholders and buildings being demolished in 1972.
Gasholder Number 5 is a 4 lift spiral guided holder built in 1930. It is 65 metres in diameter and when fully inflated was 61 metres high. The structure weighs 2,540 tonnes but also contained 41,657 tonnes of water.
Gasholder Number 7 is a 4 lift spiral guided holder built in 1965. It is 82 metres in diameter and when fully inflated was 65.5 metres high. The structure contained 66,000 tonnes of water.
The photograph below shows the internal structure of Gasholder Number 5 with the sludge collected from the base of the holder, following the removal of the water, contained in the bags before removal from site to a licenced landfill.