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TITLE
Sir Edward MacColl
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_1_007
PLACENAME
Pitlochry
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
PERTH: Moulin
PERIOD
1940s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
8369
KEYWORDS
Edward MacColl
hydro-electric
wind power
peat turbines
Thomas Johnston
Sir Edward MacColl

This plaque of Sir Edward MacColl, 1882 - 1951, was placed on the Pitlochry Power Station in memory of his enormous contribution to the development of hydro-electricity throughout Scotland. Born in Dumbarton, with Argyll connections, MacColl started his professional life as an apprentice with John Brown and Company, the Clydebank shipbuilders, then Glasgow Corporation Tramways Department and the Corporation's Pinkstone Power Station.

In 1918 he was recruited to the Clyde Valley Electric Company as Chief Technical Engineer. The Company was successful in getting Parliamentary approval for the hydro-electric development at the Falls of Clyde due to MacColl's attention to every detail, including consultation with landowners and preservation of the natural beauty. He worked with the Central Electricity Board, where by 1933 he had supervised the creation of Scotland's National Grid - the first of its kind - standardizing frequency and voltage.

During the war years he was in charge of electric power and distribution, but felt the post used little of his initiative and creativity. In 1943, Thomas Johnston MP, steered the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Bill through the House of Commons, which led to the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board. Edward MacColl was invited to serve as Vice Chairman and Chief Executive. MacColl delighted in this opportunity, and with his technical abilities, inventiveness, and boundless enthusiasm was able to see development push forward. MacColl, like Johnston, firmly believed in hydro-electric development as vital in rescuing the Highlands from poverty and its ills, and bringing prosperity to the area.

MacColl oversaw the construction of hydro-electric schemes at Loch Sloy, Glen Affric, Breadalbane, Glen Garry and Loch Tummel, with relentless energy and determination. One of his great legacies, was his foresight and imagination in ensuring that power stations be built in sympathy with their surroundings, using local materials. This provided much needed local employment, and handsome structures that were a lasting credit to the builders and the Board.

During his time with the Hydro-Board, MacColl was always looking for improvements, and new ways of producing energy. He initiated research into wind power and peat fired turbines realizing that non-hydro power would be necessary in the future. Edward MacColl was knighted in 1949, and died suddenly two years later. This plaque is at Pitlochry Power Station as a memorial to MacColl.


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Sir Edward MacColl

PERTH: Moulin

1940s

Edward MacColl; hydro-electric; wind power; peat turbines; Thomas Johnston

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

This plaque of Sir Edward MacColl, 1882 - 1951, was placed on the Pitlochry Power Station in memory of his enormous contribution to the development of hydro-electricity throughout Scotland. Born in Dumbarton, with Argyll connections, MacColl started his professional life as an apprentice with John Brown and Company, the Clydebank shipbuilders, then Glasgow Corporation Tramways Department and the Corporation's Pinkstone Power Station.<br /> <br /> In 1918 he was recruited to the Clyde Valley Electric Company as Chief Technical Engineer. The Company was successful in getting Parliamentary approval for the hydro-electric development at the Falls of Clyde due to MacColl's attention to every detail, including consultation with landowners and preservation of the natural beauty. He worked with the Central Electricity Board, where by 1933 he had supervised the creation of Scotland's National Grid - the first of its kind - standardizing frequency and voltage.<br /> <br /> During the war years he was in charge of electric power and distribution, but felt the post used little of his initiative and creativity. In 1943, Thomas Johnston MP, steered the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Bill through the House of Commons, which led to the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board. Edward MacColl was invited to serve as Vice Chairman and Chief Executive. MacColl delighted in this opportunity, and with his technical abilities, inventiveness, and boundless enthusiasm was able to see development push forward. MacColl, like Johnston, firmly believed in hydro-electric development as vital in rescuing the Highlands from poverty and its ills, and bringing prosperity to the area. <br /> <br /> MacColl oversaw the construction of hydro-electric schemes at Loch Sloy, Glen Affric, Breadalbane, Glen Garry and Loch Tummel, with relentless energy and determination. One of his great legacies, was his foresight and imagination in ensuring that power stations be built in sympathy with their surroundings, using local materials. This provided much needed local employment, and handsome structures that were a lasting credit to the builders and the Board.<br /> <br /> During his time with the Hydro-Board, MacColl was always looking for improvements, and new ways of producing energy. He initiated research into wind power and peat fired turbines realizing that non-hydro power would be necessary in the future. Edward MacColl was knighted in 1949, and died suddenly two years later. This plaque is at Pitlochry Power Station as a memorial to MacColl. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href= "mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com" >Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a><br />