Public Services and Utilities

Crawley Gas Company

Crawley Gas Company raised capital mostly from local investment to supply street and house lighting, and was registered on 29th October 1858. A gas house was built to the north of Blackdog Lane. However, the Horley District Gas Company was empowered by the Horley Gas Act of 1901 to provide gas in Crawley, Ifield and Worth. The Crawley Company was underfinanced, going into liquidation in 1901 and was taken over by the Horley company in 1902. The gasworks at Crawley became disused by 1910 and gas was brought in by the new company.


Horley District Gas Act 1 Edw. 7 c.xx 1901; Crawley Victorian New Town, John Lowerson, 1980; Wayfarer Denman's Crawley Revisited, Nadine Hygate (1993), p. 25

Crawley & District Water Company - Goff's Park Road

Crawley & District Water Company was established by a private Act of Parliament in 1898. The Chairman was James Longley. Although water had been expected at a depth of 250 feet, due to a geological fault the borehole had to be sunk to 770 feet or more. The supply of water started in 1897-1898; by 1910 three quarters of the district was served by the company. However, at times breakdowns required assistance from the East Surrey Water Company. In 1925 the company was taken over by Horsham and East Grinstead Rural District Councils. The water tower and resovoir were built at Goff's Hill, the water tower has since been demolished.

Crawley and District Water Act 61 & 62 Vict. c.cxxiiii 1898
Crawley Victorian New Town, John Lowerson, 1980
Crawley and District Water Company, Charles J. Longley and Peter Longley, Sussex Industrial History, No. 32, 2002


Crawley Fire Brigade

Mark Lemon, amongst others, was responsible for the founding of Crawley Fire Brigade. He chaired a meeting, held in the Station Inn's Assembly Rooms, in August 1866 to raise funds and inaugurate the brigade. Thomas Bonsfield arranged for a second-hand engine, which was built in 1774, to be sent from London as a gift. The Brigade was a voluntary organisation until 1932. In 1922 they bought a motor pump and in 1926 a motor fire engine.



Horley District Gas Company - 2 High Street Woolborough Road

Horley District Gas Company was formed in 1862. In 1901 it was empowered by the Horley Gas Act of 1901 to provide gas in Crawley, Ifield and Worth. The Crawley Gas Company was underfinanced, going into liquidation in 1901 and was taken over by the Horley company in 1902.


Library

Crawley's first permanent public library opened in the remaining part of the former Baptist Church building in Station Road in the 1950s and the library in Northgate Avenue opened in the 1960s. Construction of the new library started in 2007 and it was opened in December 2008.



Police

Before a police force was established the Vestry Committee formed a Prosecuting Society of respected men, who apprehended offenders and brought before the Manor Court.

Later, Crawley had two policemen: as Crawley was divided between Worth and Ifield Parishes both East Grinstead and Horsham were responsible for policing. Crawley's first police station was in Station Road, which was also were the town's policeman lived. A police station was built in Exchange Road for Crawley New Town, which subsequently moved to a new building in Northgate Avenue. Gatwick Airport also has it's own police station.

Sussex Police Forces: A Pictorial History from 1836 to 1986 (Middleton Press, 1987)
Wayfarer Denman's Crawley Revisited, Nadine Hygate (1993), pp.25-26

Sewage Works - London Road

South Eastern Electricity Board. - 55 High Street

South Eastern Gas Board - 2 High Street

Sussex Electricity Supply Co. - 27 High Street; 55 High Street; 2 Princess Road

Workhouses

A workhouse was built in 1747 on the west side of Ifield Green, and is now called Tweed Cottage. Worth Workhouse was a three-story cottage built in the 1790s and which stood on the corner of Church Road and Turners Hill Road. After forty years it was used as labourers' cottages by the Crabbett estate. Known as Khyber Cottages, they were demolished in the 1950s. Another former workhouse was in a late 17th-century building which stands near the roundabout where London Road, the A23 and M23 link roads meet. It later reverted to a row of cottages and is now a single house called Fir Tree Cottage.