Following the foundation of the Great Central Croll took over the failing Rotherhithe Gas Works. This had been built by Stephen Hutchinson and been falling down ever since. In an attempt to change things one of Joseph Hedley's son's had taken over the works. Some sort of siege seems to have resulted and T. Abercrombie Hedley was forcibly ejected by Croll. It became the Surrey Consumers Company and remained independent until taken over by South Met in the 1880s. A holder (although not an early one) still stands in Brunel Road.
Croll was to claim that the idea of a Surrey Consumers Company had been his - and that he had persuaded the relevant Board of Works members to back him. He also claimed to have to have set up the 'districting' scheme whereby South London was divided into exclusive areas of supply