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We had to clean the gas lights at Bilston Market every Friday

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: June 16, 2014

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IN the Black Country Bugle (May 22 edition) there was an article about Bilston Market which said that the market hall was illuminated by electricity. This was not so, it was gas.

I was a gas fitter employed by Bilston Gas Light and Coke Company Ltd - at that time I was an apprentice.

Every Friday we had to maintain and clean the lights and remantle them where necessary. If I remember correctly this was high pressure gas - the compressor being near the front entrance.

The fitter who was responsible for this was Mr Norman Martin (the brother of Bilston's Chief Fire Officer).

This was in the mid-1940s - I was then called up for National Service in the RAF after deferment to 21 to enable me to finish my apprenticeship and gain my City & Guilds certificate.

Further to the above, the floodlighting around the Town Hall, War Memorial and Hickman Park was also lit by gas. This was to celebrate the end of the war in Europe. One light was secured to the top of a trolley bus standard which required the help of a tower wagon from Wolverhampton Corporation trolley bus department.

I did stay in the gas industry for 48 years, retiring in 1991. During my time in the gas industry I progressed to a Service Supervisor with British Gas in Wolverhampton, moving from Bilston depot to Willenhall, Walsall and finally Wolverhampton.

Hope this information is of help.

A.G. Hazeldine,

27 Baldwin Way, Swindon, Near Dudley.

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