Time capsule buried on old gasworks site

TIME CAPSULE: Geoff Farnsworth (BAM Nuttall), the Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley, Dr Sion Roberts (RSK), Keith Johnston (National Grid) and pupils and staff from St Peter's Primary School with the items that were buried in the time capsule.

TIME CAPSULE: Geoff Farnsworth (BAM Nuttall), the Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley, Dr Sion Roberts (RSK), Keith Johnston (National Grid) and pupils and staff from St Peter's Primary School with the items that were buried in the time capsule.

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A TIME capsule has been buried at a 200-year-old former gasworks to give a snapshot of Burnley in 2012.

A huge gas tank unearthed by workers in Parker Lane had not been used for almost a century.

Schoolchildren from Burnley teamed up with site-owners National Grid to help preserve memories of the town for future generations.

A time capsule was created to help celebrate the town’s proud industrial heritage with the help of pupils from St Peter’s Primary School.

Artwork and poetry created by the youngsters was put in the capsule alongside historical documents about the gas works and a copy of the Burnley Express newspaper.

The pupils’ work showcased local life in 2012 and the Queen’s Jubilee visit to the town in May.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley, Coun. Charlie and Irene Bullas, were at the site to help bury the time capsule.

Keith Johnston, land regeneration manager for National Grid, said: “In its heyday, the Parker Lane gasworks was an important local employer and helped Burnley develop into a thriving industrial town.

“We wanted to pay a fitting tribute to the history of the site and celebrate an important year for Burnley.

“I’d like to thank the pupils and staff from St Peter’s Primary School for helping us preserve an important part of the town’s history for future generations to enjoy.”

The gasworks were built in 1823 by Burnley Gas Works Company to store coal gas. It stood on the site between Parker Lane and the canal for almost 100 years.

The gas works became among the most efficient in the country, and helped the town generate its own electricity and also burned off Burnley’s waste in a destructor. But the works closed in the late 1920s when generation of gas was moved to the Stoneyholme Gas Works, on the site of Burnley College. The only remnants of Burnley’s gas industry is in Oswald Street, where a gas holder still stands.

Over the past nine months, contractors have cleared tar – a by-product of gas production – from an underground tank. Following the completion of work last month, the site has now been left as tidy, open space.