National Grid: gas heritage resources for teachers

Women working in the gasworks during World War I: Warrington Gas Archive

Gas has been used to light our streets, heat and light our homes, schools and workplaces, and cook our food for over 200 years. At one time, every town and city in the UK had its own gasworks.

But did you know..? Alongside the more conventional lights, gas fires and cookers there have also been gas washing machines, gas irons, fans, radios, hairdryers – even a gas-powered waffle maker!

Or that there are still 1500 gas lamps operating in London. Five ‘lamp attendants’ are employed to maintain them, riding between them on motorbikes and using ladders hidden in strategic places to climb the lamp posts. 

I worked with the National Grid to create a set of classroom resources for teachers, packed with images, information, videos and activities to explore how gas has been a central part of our lives for over two centuries.

Topics include: Lighting, Cooking & heating, Gas gadgets, The changing role of women, How it’s made, and Vehicles.

Find the resources here.

See today’s lamp attendants keeping the gas lamplight burning in London, and find out just where they hide those ladders!