Gas & Electricity Showroom in St John Street
William Stears, a gas engineer from Leeds, was instrumental in bringing gas to the area. Although he first addressed a meeting in the town in 1839 which enthusiastically accepted the idea, Thornbury Gas Company was not set up until 1855. The principle adviser at the beginning was Ebenezer Breillat son of the famous John Breillat who introduced gas to Bristol. Click here to read about the introduction of gas
There was a meeting in the town to discuss the possibility of introducing gas and it was an occasion when feelings ran high. A poem about this meeting and its possible consequences was written by Sophia Lovegrove. Read the poem
Thornbury only ever had about 26 public gas lamps in the streets, although in the early days churches and private individuals had them both inside and outside some of the buildings. Click here to read about the gas lamps
Later the use of gas became more widespread in the town. The gas was manufactured at the Gas Works in Gas Works Lane which is now known as Park Road. Click here to read about the gas works and its various managers
The street lighting had to be suspended during the First World War. We have seen a letter dated 20th Dec 1920 which authorises the Company to light and maintain 25 gas lamps in Thornbury. This was to bring back lighting which had been restricted to maintain coal stocks.
Edmund Cullimore acquired an interest in the Thornbury Gas Company and his son-in-law, Francis Henry Grace, became Secretary for the Thornbury Gas Light and Coke Company. When the demand for gas expanded and a new showroom was required, Edmund provided a suitable site in St John’s Street. Local builders, Walter William Pitcher & Sons, submitted plans for the building of a showroom on this site in 1932. A photograph of the showroom appears above. R