Once the biggest gas works in the world Beckton has shrunk to a shadow of its former self. Coal gas was produced here from the 1880's until the 1960's when the product was replaced by natural gas. Coal gas was highly poisonous and a favoured method of suicide for anyone with a spare shilling for the meter was to stick your head in the oven and expire relatively painlessly and quickly. Natural gas is next to useless for purposes of committing suicide - stuffing the gaps beneath doors and windows with rags, leaving the hob on unlit for half an hour and then striking a match and hoping to die in the subsequent explosion is a highly uncertain method and may well also result in injury to persons who still have an attachment to life.
Three functioning gasometers and a defunct one plus some interesting pipes and a small boiler house are all that are left of the gasworks.