Punch,  50 (1866), 258.

A Gas Plant at Victoria Park

Audi Alteram Partem


Letter, Spoof


Light, Gas Chemistry, Industry, Manufactories, Pollution, Environmentalism, Politics, Government, Periodicals, Charlatanry

Institutions mentioned:

Houses of Parliament

    The writer begins by telling Mr Punch that he is inspired by the recent defeat of the bill to construct Imperial Gas Company works in Victoria Park, and explains that 'ratepayers and householders of Hackney Wick' are trying to crush the Gas Light and Coke Company (whom the author evidently supports) which is seeking parliamentary approval for an 'odoriferous plant' on the same site. Describes a meeting held by the Hackney residents which discussed the pollution of the proposed and existing factories in the neighbourhood and resolved to form an opposition to 'the sanitary and salutiferous Bill for erecting incense-breathing Gasworks only 800 yards' from the park. Argues that since the gas companies provide great 'illuminating power', supply low cost gas, make 'moderate profits', and are willing to 'accommodate the public', then there is every need to support the companies 'in all their designs' and to fight such adversaries as the critics of the 'Gas Light and Coke Company'. Hopes that despite the parliamentary defeat of the Corporation Gas Bill, this measure will eventually succeed and thus serve 'the interests of a great Company'—the Gas Light and Coke Company. Argues that since the defeat of the Imperial Gas Company Bill was due to too much publicity, it is crucial that companies 'seeking Parliamentary powers to embellish and perfume Victoria Park, contrive to keep their Bill to erect Gasworks for that purpose out of the lists of [Parliamentary] Orders of the Day that appear in the newspapers'. Reminds Mr Punch of the 'choicest scents' made from the 'residual products' of gasworks and thus stresses that such manufactories will only add to the smell of flowers in the park. Concludes by stressing that he has not been bribed by any gas company.

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