Beverley: The History of Gas

SPEAKER : Professor Russell Thomas

The Treasure House, Champney Road, Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, HU17 8HE

Professor Russell Thomas, internationally acclaimed historian of gas, gives a talk on the origins and development of this Astounding and life-changing invention. Beverley had gas street lighting early and still has its Georgian lampposts.

Russell Thomas will talk on the origins and development of the gas industry from around 1800, and how Beverley streets came to be lit by the elegant gas lamps that still stand today, electrified after the 2nd World War. Beverley has some of the oldest surviving gas street lamp posts in the world, and perhaps the earliest.

This kind of street lighting began in London, with pipes made out of joined up rifle barrels, but London seems not to have kept any of its earliest street lights. Beverley did keep theirs, and they are dated 1824, 1825 and 1826, with columns of cast iron made near Sheffield. The early lanterns were made by J.R. Clark in the workshop of 59 Saturday Market, and fed by gas from the works at Figham Road. After John Malam, a pioneering gas engineer, left Beverley to deal with Hull's gas lighting problems, the lamp standards were made to a similar pattern in Beverley by William Crosskill, from his ironworks in Mill Lane. He too was an inventor, but chiefly of agricultural implements. The Malams and Crosskill supplied the first gas lights to Hamburg in 1844, with 3000 lanterns from J.R. Clark in Saturday Market.

Professor Thomas is one of the world’s leading specialists in gasworks and the development of the industry. Author of many books and articles, he gives talks nationally and internationally., and we are extremely lucky to have this chance to hear him. This talk is part of the national Heritage Open Days 2022 theme of Astounding Inventions.

Event Times

Saturday 10 September:1100 and repeated at 1400

Booking Details

Booking Contact:East Riding Archives
Call:01482 392792
Booking opens:15 August 2022 10:00
Booking closes:10 September 2022 14:30

COVID-19 Considerations

This event will run in line with local & national government guidelines at the time of the festival.

Additional Information

One hourContact for the day:Barbara English 07773333827


In the Education Room on the 2nd floor of the Library building.

Organised by

Beverley Civic Society