THIS summer will see the demolition of two landmark gas storage sites in Bradford.

Last month the Telegraph & Argus reported that Northern Gas Networks will begin work to pull down the units, some dating back to the 1930s, as part of a national programme getting rid of the huge domed structures which are no longer used due to improvements in technology.

Two sites in Bradford will be demolished - one at Canal Road and Birskhall, between Leeds Road and Bowling Back Lane. Although they wouldn’t be described as beautiful architecture, the structures have been landmarks for almost nine decades, and Northern Gas has encouraging people to share memories or old photos of the sites.

The two Canal Road units were built in 1938 at Clayton & Sons Ltd. At Birkshall the work will involve two below ground units built in the 1950s and and one above ground unit built in 1938.

After reading the T&A report, FRANK HEALY got in touch with childhood memories of trips to a gas plant.

Writes Frank: Reading the story about the demolition/dismantling of the gas holders at Birkshall Gas Works brought back memories from over 70 years ago.

My grandmother was the licensee of The Great Northern Hotel at Laisterdyke and we lived at the rear on Cork Street.

As a child I thought the draymen delivering the beer were fascinating, especially the big barrels they dropped down into the cellar.

Those barrels looked enormous as the men moved them around. To a little lad many things look enormous. They seem to grow smaller as you grow older.

One of the customers made me a sack cart, scaled down to just my size. I had hours of fun wheeling empty beer crates around the yard.

We lived not far away from the gas coking plant at Planetrees Road and one day the lad who lived opposite, Ken Howson who would go on to marry my sister, and Eric Greaves from next door told me to bring my cart as we were off to the coke plant.

Coal was not so easy to get, expensive, and as it was in 1946/47, probably rationed, but when they had been making gas you could go down and buy as much coke as you wanted. It was also cheaper and burned hotter. Ken and Eric together with some others, had got together enough money to buy some coke, (funny how that word has a totally different meaning today) and they needed my cart to move it. They then went round the streets selling it and soon we were doing regular trips.

Now back in those days kids all played out together, and any parent not working kept an eye on those kids whose parents were (how different it is today) so we were not missed for a long time.

But eventually my mother started looking for my sister and I for our tea. She eventually found us, after a long time looking, and we were black as the ace of spades from the dust. We got our backsides smacked and the lads got a rollicking for getting us into such a state.

The next time there was a load of coke available they borrowed my cart but my mother would not let me and my sister go with them. Spoilsport!