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The Changing Face of Newbury: Part Eight

What historic building is behind the scaffolding?

Andy Murrill

Andy Murrill


01635 886625

The Changing Face of Newbury: Part Eight

DO you know what Newbury building is behind this scaffolding?

This is just one of more than 100 fascinating photographs contained in a new book called The Changing Face of Newbury, written by local author and historian Tony Higgott.

Newburytoday has featured one nostalgic picture from the book each day for the last few days – each with a question for you to answer. The answer to today's poser is revealed below.

The answer to yesterday's question about what the Sterling Cables building used to be is a gasworks.

Today's answer is Shaw House.

The Changing Face of Newbury is available, priced £9.95, from the publisher Countryside Books’ website at

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Article comments

  • NewburyLad

    02/12/2016 - 08:08

    Was it used to create lead shot? I can't see the need for a tower for it to produce gas, and that tower clearly isn't an add on when Sterling Cables used the building.


    • NoisyNortherner

      02/12/2016 - 09:09

      The metal tower was added when Sterling Cables took over the site. This was due to it being used for the vertical extrusion of vulcanised rubber from what I understand. The additional height was required to allow this process to work. The timeline of when the site changed use seems to coincide somewhat with when coal gas was being phased out, although natural gas didn't become widespread until the late 60's/early 70's. A fascinating piece of industrial history nonetheless.


  • Hammerthebookie

    01/12/2016 - 11:11

    Sterling cables building was not a gasworks, it was a cable production & the tall tower was used to inter-wind the steel cables


    • IanPrinter

      01/12/2016 - 19:07

      Hammer - the clue is in the question - what was the building used for BEFORE it was Sterling cables. Sheeesh - it's not a rocket science entry exam!!!


    • NoisyNortherner

      01/12/2016 - 16:04

      The question was what was the building used for before it became Sterling Cables. If my research is correct, it only became Sterling Cables in 1964. Before this, it's likely that it was used to manufacture coal gas, otherwise known as town gas. The metal extension is a later addition and wouldn't have been present during the original use of the building.