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Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The Shoreditch Indepen- more gas works in Haggerston

The Imperial Company’s works on the Haggerston/Shoreditch borders tends to be called ‘Shoreditch’ and the Shoreditch Independent Company’s works nearby tends to be called ‘Haggerston’. They are remarkable close to each other.

The Shoreditch Independent Gas Company was started in the mid-1820s - the minute books date from June 1824 at which time they trying to find a site. They began to make gas about a year later.

It was opened by two employees of the Gas Light and Coke Company - Edward Hinde and Joseph Hartley - to objections from the Imperial alarmed at this arrival on their doorstep. Initially they intended to deal with the local authority in St.Marylebone (a saga which took place outside the area of east London) but instead settled for Shoreditch and a site in Haggerston - buying the land from Rhodes, the building and brickmaking contractors.

Those proprietors who can be traced were local businessmen - the first meeting was chaired by James Andrew Welch, a surgeon from Dalston, also included Charles Snewin, a publican, and George Bailey, White, a grocer from Shoreditch

Derek Matthews in ‘Rogues, Speculators and Competing Monopolies’ says that because of the ‘mood of the time’ the shares were oversubscribed and that ‘at a share auction at Galloway’s Coffee House the police had to be called.’

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