Did you know that there used to be a gasworks serving Nether Heyford. It was wedged between the road and the canal half way between Nether Heyford and Bugbrooke. The tiny gasworks served the communities of Bugbrooke and Heyford until the trunk gas main was laid in the 1960’s, bringing natural gas.
David Blagrove describes in his book ‘The Waterways of Northamptonshire’ how its waste tar or gas water used to be taken away by canal to a refinery in the London area. ‘A wide beamed tank boat used to make about one journey each year to collect the tar, bearing upon its decked-in hold a two-wheeled cart with hand pump and tank. This was worked back and forth from the gas water pit to the boat, using the boat’s horse. After many laborious journeys the boat would be loaded.’
All that remains now is the small brick building which can just be seen from the road. The tank was originally ﬂanked by poplar trees, but the site is now just a scrap yard and is ﬂanked by sheets of corrugated iron.
(Reprinted from the Prattler April 1995)
Update 2020: The poplar trees, scrap yard and corrugated iron sheets are now gone.
Extract from “The Story of Heyford” – Local book series published in the late 1990’s
Volume 3 of 4 | Chapter 14 of 17 | Page 27
Heyford’s Historical Heritage | How the books were created