By Malcolm E. Falkus

This non-technical, readable booklet strains the historical past of North Thames fuel from the nationalization of the gasoline in 1949 till privatization in 1986, a interval which observed the swap shape a place within the Nineteen Fifties the place its survival was once threatened.

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In 1933 control passed to the Southend Corporation and Shoeburyness was thus the only municipally owned undertaking to be absorbed by North Thames, although in the country as a whole about one-third of all gas undertakings were municipally owned before nationalisation. It was something of an anomaly that although the Southend Corporation owned the Shoebury- The New Enterprise 29 ness gasworks, the town of Southend itself lay within Gas Light & Coke Company territory. In 1939, the Corporation found it more convenient to buy gas for Shoeburyness direct from the company and gas-making at Shoeburyness then ceased.

2 Member obvious and contrasts strangely with the tiny municipally owned Shoeburyness works, which served an area of under two square miles through some twelve miles of main. Each of the merged undertakings had, of course, a tradition of its own, and retained some of that distinctiveness even under nationalisation. Shoeburyness, for example, had a long military tradition and gas had first been supplied there by the War Department in 1866. Subsequently, a private company was formed to serve the town and this, in turn, was taken over by the Shoeburyness Urban District Council.

But for Gas Light & Coke Company shareholders the terms of compensation were relatively straightforward. They were paid compensation during 1949 and 1950 in 3 per cent Gas Stock at an amount which was not ungenerous, although a severe financial crisis in September 1949 raised interest rates and caused a sharp decline in the value of the stock. Another problem was what to do about co-partnership schemes. The Gas Light & Coke Company's scheme had existed since 1909 and included the great majority of the Company's employees.

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