William Sugg & Co

200 Years of Gas Supply 1792-1992

This publication was produced by British Gas Scotland for British Gas plc in 1992 as part of the celebration of the 200th anniversary although it has to be said that there are several ‘start dates’ for the industry! However, as there is a great connection with Scotland, I am sure those who would like to learn a bit more about the earliest industry withWilliam Murdoch will find this publication of interest. You will see several illustrations from the William Sugg archive. The rear inside page carries a list of contributors and those involved – with thanks.
This “flipbook” offers several options for viewing including full screen, sharing and you can even print your own copy! Enjoy

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Site Background & Header

The background to the site is a modern picture of Westminster, the ‘home’ of William Sugg for so many years. It was taken from the roof of The House of Lords during a visit by the Heritage Group of CIBSE in 2004 and centres on Westminster Abbey. The header carries a woodcut of ‘Vincent Works’, the Sugg factory, which might well have been visible from this vantage point. William used this on one of his letter heads. The first and oldest logo also shows the intimate connection with Westminster as it carries the Westminster portcullis with the inscription ‘en avant’ – ‘in advance’. The second logo replaced the earlier one around 1920 and was used right the way through the century until the ‘modern’ era when the ‘flame’ logo was applied to the new era of gas heating equipment with the new factory in Crawley.

8 Responses

  1. Hi Chris, what a fantastic website, and such a wonderful tribute to an epic family business.

    I have an impossible question…… I am trying to establish the original lighting used at the Livesey Memorial Hall at the South Suburban Gas Company’s works at Bell Green, Sydenham.

    Descriptions of the arrangement from the Journal of Gas Lighting
    Concert hall (51 ft. 6 in. long by 40 ft. wide) accommodating c.450 persons. …..a stage at one end, 44 ft. long by 17 ft. wide, fitted with a footlight screen (20 ft. long), lighted by eighteen incandescent burners. … The ventilation has likewise
    been abundantly considered. In the walls of the body of the hall,
    there are eight fresh air ventilating panels, and two are fixed in the back wall of the stage. Centrally situated in the beautiful ribbed and coved ceiling of the hall is a sunburner of Sugg’s make, fitted with a cluster of 21 Graetzin inverted burners; and connected with the sunburner is a tube running up to the apex of the roof, on top of which is fixed one of Shorland’s patent exhaust ventilators. This arrangement conducts away the products of combustion from the burners, and at the same time the foul air of the room. The hall is further illuminated with ten two-light wall brackets. ….

    I don’t suppose you could give me an idea of the kind of design that fits that description? The space in the ceiling where it would have been fitted is square, if that helps at all?

    As I said, an impossible question, but any ideas would be really interesting. The hall is otherwise in excellent condition, and it would be nice to record its original setup.

    1. Thank you Julia for your enthusiastic response to my efforts at recording a business that has its’ beginnings at the very start of the Gas Industry. I have been fortunate in having a great deal of literature and even photo albums that were saved by generations of employees largely because they remained with the business for the whole of their career and the business stayed in Westminster for such a long time. Most businesses lose their identity when they move or are taken over and all the ephemera of an earlier age goes in the skip!
      I will use your email address to send an answer to your specific question as best I can. Regards, Chris

  2. Hello, I have a clock using a fusee driven movement signed on the vitreous enamelled dial Wm Parkinson & Co. Cottage Lane, City Road London

    Some years ago I found a drawing of the inside of the gas works showing how they used these clocks as part of the regulating system as far as I remember. Began assembling info again but cannot find that print, if you can help I would be pleased. I can provide images of the clock if of any interest.

    1. Hello John. Parkinson was of course a competitor to Suggs so the chance of having anything truly relevant is unlikely! However, there are several pictures of 2 fusee clocks that have almost certainly been made from mechanisms used on various pieces of equipment. The clocks are on this site in the Technical section under ‘Other Items’. I would be interested in seeing a picture of the Parkinson clock if you don’t mind – send it to me via my email address on the left. Thanks. Chris
      You will find further info under Gas Control, Testing & Measurement.

      1. Hello again Chris, happy to send a couple of images of the clock but cannot see your email address. Would it be possible to send it via email I can pop it in the address book from there. Had a look at the other clocks and I should say it is worth noting that the clock in my possession was formerly on top of some equipment.

        1. Hello John, the email address is simply ch***@wi****************.uk which shows up next to my name on the comments but I guess may not show up in the same way on other equipment! The clock mechanisms probably relate to various test meters and there are certainly some interesting enamelled dials on gas meters.

  3. Hello again Chris I found an email address on another part of the site and have used that trust you will get the two images I have sent.

William Sugg & Co