The Winchester

"Not all those who wander are lost" – Tolkien

In the Gasometer – April 2010

with 4 comments

I’d looked at Gasometers since I was a kid, always fascinated by the scale of them, what they were, how they worked, and why they were built. Never quite got it, you see. Since long before I started exploring, I’d always fancied going up one, and on a night where we scoped out several other sites, this was the only one we ended up doing.

(This is why I still shoot Film)

It’s a strange experience being up on one of those things. Firstly you’ve got to deal with the fact that you are essentially exposed up a big climbing frame in the sky. Next to the Millennium Dome and close to the Blackwall Tunnel, I don’t imagine those in charge would take gladly to finding oneself up there. Also add to the mix that the wind was up a little, and that that would affect things as well, making those narrow metal ladders just a little more cold, and a little more uncomfortable.

When we arrived, Neb climbed straight up as high as he could. Gary also climbed, but I stayed at the bottom, just inside the ring, to take a couple of shots. My new Manfrotto Superclamp was just what I needed here, no tripod would have been able to stay steady.

To get up the gasometer, you’re faced with a set of ladders, exposed on the side that would have risen. Even the most hardy of explorers can get funny about these things – the ladder was unlike that of a crane, a three quarter cage being the safety offered here. Thankfully the structure was solid.

I climbed probably half way up, opting out of the climb to the very top. Neb was apprehensive too, choosing to come down after just a couple of minutes at his loftier position. I was happy where I was: I felt shielded, I could see what I wanted and I could take some pics of the experience.

When we arrived at the bottom again we walked on the dome. At first it felt rigid, and then the closer to the centre I got, the more it would vibrate. Not somewhere we wanted to stick around on – I’d experienced falling through rust at another site, up to my armpits, and although this metal was a lot more solid than the water tower roof at an abandoned northern asylum, I preferred to get to the edge and into the relative safety of the frame.

I’d recently read a list of 50 things to do before you die, and one of those things was climbing a gasometer. 49 to go?

Written by Winch

April 21st, 2010 at 2:38 am

4 Responses to 'In the Gasometer – April 2010'

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  1. Superb read, that black and white shot is incredible.. sellable mate 🙂 what were list of things to do before you die? 🙂


    21 Apr 10 at 10:07 am

  2. It was a list put together by members of some random forum, trawled up when I googled ‘Gasometer Climb’. If you’re interested click here.


    27 Apr 10 at 7:11 am

  3. Awesome! Glad people are going here, it’s so beautiful. And such a relaxed spot for London.

    So jealous that you had static clouds in that b&w shot, gorgeous!


    27 Apr 10 at 9:35 pm

  4. Thanks, I enjoyed it up here but regret not going to the top, as you did!


    27 Apr 10 at 10:34 pm

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