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Working with a local artist

Our Community Artist, Mick Hand, is a professional artist with more than 20 years’ experience.

He delivers workshops with local schools in areas where we have long-running or disruptive pipe replacement projects, with the resulting NGN-themed artwork used on our site fencing, on customer letters, and even on our vehicles.

Mick Hand painting-3 (1)

Mick is also documenting the legacy of our gas holders using sketches and paintings.  These structures will gradually disappear from the region’s skyline over the next ten to fifteen years as a result of our holder demolition program.

We’re also calling for people to share their gas holder memories by emailing gasholdermemories@northerngas.co.uk or writing to:

Northern Gas Networks
Stakeholder Relations
Thorpe Park Business Park
1100 Century Way
LS15 8TU

Ultimately, we aim to produce a book encompassing this artwork along with reminiscences from local people, to capture the history of these structures for future generations.

You can read Mick’s blog, all about his work with our business below.

Micks Blog

Getting creative at St Josephs Catholic Primary School Dewsbury 

I have the great pleasure of visiting primary schools in areas that will be most affected by Northern Gas Networks essential replacement work.

To help pupils at St Josephs Primary School in Dewsbury understand why Northern Gas Networks do the work they do, and why it can’t be avoided, I spent an afternoon with Year 5 children delivering an art workshop.

As well as showing the children my own artwork and discussing the dangers of paying near the road works, we spent the afternoon creating some wonderful paintings. I then merged the paintings into a giant mural that adorns our site works and will soon be re-produced on one of Northern Gas Networks vans in the area.

It was such a pleasure to teach such a well behaved, enthusiastic class, thank you Miss Roberts and Year 5.

Dewsbury School Mural

Saying goodbye to St Mark’s 

Mick Hand Gas Holder

St Mark’s gas holder in Hull is a 106ft tall steel construction built in 1898. A familiar sight for many locals, when in use it could store up to two million cubic feet of gas – enough to supply 2,400 homes for a full day.

And now it needs to come down.

Advances in technology mean that St Mark’s, along with the 47 other Northern Gas Networks owned gas holders in the region, are now surplus to requirements.

I’ve been working with local people to create a visual and written record about St Mark’s, so that the memories live on long after the site is cleared.

I visited St Mark’s holder throughout the demolition to make sketches of the structure.  Working with black and white acrylic paint on card I used my sketches, and photographs, as reference tools back in my studio where I worked up more ‘finished’ paintings.

When I’m out on site sketching a holder such as St Mark’s I feel a real sense of the 150 year history, intensified when I’m working alone.  You can’t help but think of the generations of workers, relatives and friends who have worked with or grown up with the holder.

There is something quite eerie about being stood so close to such a large structure.  The way it typifies the industrial age and indeed the Victorians attention to detail and craftsmanship is quite fabulous.  I’m honoured to be able to capture its beauty in art.

 Mick Hand sketch - St Mark's gas holder