Dismantling of Reading's final gas holder begins despite campaign by residents to save it

  • Video report from ITV News Meridian's Mel Bloor

After dominating the skyline for more than 100 years, Reading's last gas holder will soon be no more. 

The dismantling of the structure, on Alexander Turner Close, in east Reading, was due to begin earlier this year but was postponed after peregrine falcons were spotted perching on it.

To coincide with its demolition, an exhibition dedicated to the tower has opened at the nearby Riverside Museum.

Co-curator of the exhibition, Linda Saul, said "So many people are used to seeing the gasometer and wherever you are in Reading, you turn a corner and suddenly the gasometer is in front of you and it is going to be sad to see it go."

  • Lind Saul, local artist and co-curator

Linda Saul, continued: "What we have is an amazing exhibition with 30 odd artists and photographers all focussing on this one object which looks much the same from most angles.

"It's quite amazing the diversity of approaches and there's such a variety even though there's just that one subject."

'The last gasometer and Reading's changing skyline' exhibition is taking place as part of the town's heritage open days.

Around 30 local artists were invited to take part including visually impaired digital artist Emma Major.

  • Emma Major, artist

Emma said: "I paint because I love it. It's my entire relaxation and I do it all digitally because I can't see to paint with a paint brush and an easel.

"I just literally can't see, whereas digitally I can zoom in 2000% and see detail and paint detail."

The works shown also include prints, paintings, photographs and reclaimed materials and even the peregrine falcons make an appearance.

Each piece is a unique interpretation of the tower, designed to cement it in the history books.

The gas tower is due to be completely dismantled by next March and will be replaced with flats. But it's hoped the art work will be a permanent reminder of Reading's ever-changing skyline.