#VEDay75: 100 gas mains in Norwich broken by bombs over two nights – but heroes kept supply ON


In April 1942, the city of Norwich was subjected to an intensive blitz as Germany focussed its bombing raids on areas of cultural interest. Remarkably, despite bombs breaking 100 gas mains during one particular two-night barrage from the sky, the gas workers kept gas flowing.

An extract from a piece written in 1946 by Henry Woodhall, Chairman and Managing Director of the British Gas Light Company, said: “In raids on two successive nights, we had no fewer than 100 mains fractured. Pressures had to be restricted for a day or two, but there was no complete shutting off of supply. Gas-making continued at all times without intermission, which is greatly to the credit of the men who did magnificent work with complete disregard for personal safety.”

We’ve worked with Professor Russell Thomas, chairman of the history panel of the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers, to produce this special series of stories for #VEDay75.  

Most of the images that will appear on these pages are reproduced with kind permission of the National Grid Gas Archive, Warrington.


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