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A vibrant new mural has been unveiled in Redheugh, Gateshead, to commemorate the area’s historic gas holders.

The area’s third and final gas holder, at Team Street, is currently being demolished, and will disappear from the skyline by the end of 2019.

Northern Gas Networks, the area’s gas distributor, is carrying out the demolition work. The company teamed up with art students at Gateshead College, to create the mural, which now adorns the brick walls surrounding the Team Street site.

Alex Brightman, a community care officer from Northern Gas Networks, worked closely with the students to explore the history of the gas holders, which have stood for more than 100 years.

This research uncovered some fascinating social history, which inspired the students’ designs. The artwork includes images of women workers who stepped up while the men were away during World War 1, and the local community area.

Alex Brightman said: “The gas holders used to be a vital part of the area’s gas supply system, storing gas to be used during high demand in the winter months. 

“Today’s modern gas network means holders are no longer in use. They are costly to maintain, which is why they are disappearing from the skyline, both in our region, and around the UK.

“It was great working with the college on this project to commemorate these iconic structures, which have been a familiar sight in Redheugh for more than a century.”

The students are working towards their Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design.

Kevin Marston, assistant principal of Gateshead College, said: “This has been a fantastic project for our students to get involved in. Not only have they been able to learn more about the North East’s rich heritage, they’ve also been able to use their creative skills on an industry commission, which will be seen by thousands of people on a daily basis.”

“At Gateshead College we work with a range of organisations to create opportunities for students to showcase their talents on community projects. This looks great on their CV and gives them a better chance of impressing potential employers when looking for a job.”

Northern Gas Networks is committed to taking down its gas holders in an environmentally-responsible way, by recycling as many materials as possible.

The company is also encouraging people to share their memories of the Redheugh gas holders through by emailing gasholdermemories@northerngas.co.uk or by writing to: Northern Gas Networks, 1st Floor, 1 Emperor Way, Doxford International Business Park, Sunderland, SR3 3XR.

Anyone that smells gas or suspects carbon monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

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