Winners of Stretford Gasholders Photo Competition revealed as work to dismantle the Thomas Street gasholders completes


Winners of the National Grid Stretford Gasholder Photo Competition were revealed at a presentation ceremony yesterday evening [25 April]. The event was part of National Grid’s work to celebrate the Thomas Street gasworks. It marked the conclusion of work to dismantle the gasholders, which began in November 2018.

National Grid launched the photo competition to help commemorate and record the history of the gasworks, which once played an essential role in making sure local homes had a reliable gas supply. Local amateur photographers were invited to capture the most striking images of both the Thomas Street gasholders and the Stretford community.

The winners were announced at a presentation event at St Matthew’s Community Hall, where guests were also able to view some of the best photo submissions displayed in a pop-up gallery. The winners were:

· Eloise Boinot, Stretford Gasholder from Afar – adult category

· Hazel Gibbs, Stretford Your Community – adult category

· Keane Leighton for his photos in both junior categories.

The prizes included vouchers of up to £150 for photographic accessories from DS Colour Labs and a wall panel print of their photograph.

The panel of judges included local photographer, Len Grant, Gorse Hill Councillor Laurence Walsh and members of the National Grid project team. Four local residents were awarded highly commended certificates by the judges for their entries: Rick Walber, Kathleen Cunliffe, Shirley Bainbridge and Adriana Buonfantino.

Student of Gorse Hill Studios and one of the competition winners, Keane Leighton, said:

“The gasholders were such a big part of Stretford and their unique shape and silhouette made a really interesting landmark to photograph. It’s fantastic to see how other residents captured Stretford and it’s great that we’re able to celebrate the community and our history in this way.”

At the event, National Grid also presented Stretford Local History Society with a sign from one of the former gasholders found during the dismantling works. 97-year-old Jack Nicholls, one of the few surviving workers from Stretford Gas Company, was there to receive the sign.

Jack, along with other local residents, recently took part in National Grid’s Capturing Stories Project to capture the memories of those who lived near or worked at Stretford’s Gasworks in video recordings. These clips and digital archives are now available to view at Trafford Local Studies Centre.

Hannah White, National Grid land regeneration manager, said:

“We launched the photo competition as part of our commitment to ensure the site’s history is recorded and to celebrate Stretford’s community. We received some impressive photo entries and we’re pleased to be able to showcase the unique position the gasholders held on the Stretford skyline through the eyes of the local community.”

The site was first developed in the 1850s by the Stretford Gas Company and expanded numerous times over the next 100 years. The gasholders that have now been removed from the site were built in 1902, 1931 and 1942.

Hannah concluded:

“Our presentation ceremony marked the final celebration of the former Thomas Street Gasholders and it was fantastic to be joined by local residents and members of the Stretford Local History Society in commemorating the former gasworks and their history.”

A selection of photos from the competition will go on long-term display in St Matthew’s Community Hall.

Anyone with feedback or questions about the work or the Capturing Stories Project can contact National Grid’s Community Relations team on 0800 073 1047. They’re available daily from 7am and 7pm.