Tradeston Gas Works in Kilbirnie Street, photographed in 1911. In the foreground are railway lines and wagons of the General Terminus & Glasgow Harbour Railway, which ran through the area occupied by the works.
The Glasgow Gas Light Co built the Tradeston Gas Works in 1835 to supply the south side of the city. The works came under municipal control in 1869, and the Town Council's Gas Department immediately began a programme of rebuilding and re-equipment. This was repeated in the years following the Second World War. The works closed in 1970.
The gas works was the scene of one of Glasgow's rare bomb outrages. On the night of 20 January, 1883, two loud explosions were heard at the works and sheets of flame were seen issuing from a large gasometer, which then collapsed. The force of the explosion was felt several miles away, and adjacent properties were damaged when the flames spread to them. After a painstaking police investigation, a number of arrests were made and nine men were eventually jailed. They were found to be members of the Ribbon Society, an offshoot of the Fenian Brotherhood in Dublin that was a forerunner of the Irish Republican Army.
Reference: Glasgow City Archives, P80
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
coal gas, coke, explosions, Fenian Brotherhood, Gas Department, gas supply, gasometers, Glasgow Gas Light Co, Glasgow Terminus & Glasgow Harbour Railway, IRA, Irish Republican Army, Irish republicanism, police, railway wagons, Ribbon Society, terrorism, Tradeston Gas Works