INDUSTRY – The RedcarGas Company and Cleveland Gas Company
Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 14/12/1877.
THE REDCAR GAS COMPANY AND
CLEVELAND GAS COMPANY
The mode by which Saltburn shall in future be a lighted with gas is a question of sufficient importance to be discussed on its merits, apart from the interests which particular gas companies have in the matter. The two rival companies, who have each given the usual notices of application to Parliament for an extension of their powers to Saltburn, are the Redcar Gas Company, and the Cleveland Us Company – the former having works at Redcar, and the latter at Skelton. Saltburn is at present supplied from the works of the North-Eastern Railway Company, at Marske-by-the-Sea; these works have hitherto been quite unequalled to supply a sufficient quantity of gas to Marske and Saltburn, and appear to be a failure as a commercial speculation. The Redcar Gas Company having recently laid down a very extensive planned at Redcar, are in a position to supply both Marske, new Marske, and Saltburn, and with this end in view, they have entered into a contract with the North-Eastern Railway Company for the purchase of the Marske gasworks, the intention being to connect Marske and Saltburn with the Redcar gas works by mains laid direct, and when this is effected to demolish the Marske works altogether- in the meantime utilising them until the change referred to is effected. It may be noticed here that the Redcar Gas Company is thoroughly satisfactory to its shareholders, page as it does, the maximum dividend allowed by Act of Parliament, viz., 10 per cent per annum. The Cleveland Gas Company, like the works at Marske, is unsuccessful as a commercial speculation having as yet paid no dividend, and its works being at Skelton, considerable engineering difficulties stand in the way of their extension to Saltburn: Skelton is on much higher ground than Saltburn, and the gas would have to be forced downhill. Supposing this could be effectually accomplished, the cost would, we ventured to surmise, be very considerable; indeed, there does not seem any special advantage offered by the Cleveland Company, except their proposal to supply gas at 4s.6d. per 1000 feet. The present cost of gas in Redcar and Coatham is 5s. per 1000 feet, and it is perfectly clear that with the increased consultation which would inevitably follow all the extension to Marske and Saltburn, the Redcar Gas Company would be in a position materially to reduce the price, without reducing their dividends. The cheapness of gas in Stockton and Middlesbrough is accounted for by the consumption which large populations along ensure, and as a matter of pounds, shillings, and pence, we think there is prima facie evidence for concluding that Saltburn would consult its own interests, and with these interests of Redcar, Coatham, and Marske, by supporting the Redcar Gas Company The result of the combination would be the cheapening of gas in all these places, and the securing of an efficient supply to Saltburn, which it has not hitherto possessed. The proposal to establish a Board of Health at Saltburn for the purpose of securing gas works of their own seems somewhat chimerical: had there been a Board of Health in existence at Saltburn it would have been quite within its province to consider the matter, but then as now, it would have been simply a question of finance, which could be almost demonstrated in figures. Whilst we thoroughly agree with the necessity and importance of a Local Board of Health at Saltburn, we consider this a separate matter to be decided on its own merits. A Board of Health has in the first instance its own proper sphere of action as a cemetery authority, and its first work would be thorough for and practical attention to this, which is the very reason of its existence. To return to the gas question, we are of opinion that the gas consumers in Saltburn are insufficient in number to enable any works limited to the population to pay even adequate let alone the maximum dividends, and at the same price supply gas at 4s. per thousand, which is the price we expect it could be supplied at by the Redcar Gas Company, in the event of their operations been extended to Saltburn. We write as consumers only, having no shares in any gas company, and it is the United interest of Redcar, Coatham, Marske, and Saltburn to get gas supplied at the cheapest possible rate. Of course, we are not unmindful of the fact that persons who have money invested in gas companies are chiefly interested in good dividends, but as the Redcar Company already pays the largest dividend which the law allows, we argue that with largely increased consumption the price of gas most in the nature of things, be lowered, and the consumers would get the benefit of the union we have suggested.
December 28, 2014 Industry