The last gasometer in Reading is due for demolition and with it, a little of our industrial heritage will be gone forever. Its demolition was delayed for six months, by the sighting of peregrines scouting for a nesting site. Now the nesting season is over, the cranes and cutters will move in. While they were not around the gas tower became a roost for countless smaller birds and their song reverberated around the theatre.
Don’t get me wrong, the flats which will be built on the site are needed, but a little bit of me wonders if we santitise our history and urban landscapes…
The peregrines have moved on and hopefully, they will find a safe roost in future years.
This painting appeared in an exhibition at Reading Museum’s Blake’s Lock, in September 2021, to celebrate the Last Gasometer and Reading’s Changing Skyline.