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TITLE
Official Opening of Nostie Bridge Power Station
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_1_042
PLACENAME
Nostie Bridge
DISTRICT
South West Ross
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Lochalsh
DATE OF IMAGE
21 December 1948
PERIOD
1940s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
8437
KEYWORDS
hydro-electric
Nostie Bridge
Lochalsh
Tom Johnston
Miss Dorothy MacRae
generating station
Official Opening of Nostie Bridge Power Station

Watched by local dignitaries, Miss Dorothy MacRae of Conchra turns the wheel to start water flowing through the turbines at the Nostie Bridge power station. Earlier in the day, Chairman Tom Johnston, and members of the North of Scotland Hydro-Board joined locals to perform a similar ceremony in Morar, Inverness-shire, where local woman Mrs Catherine MacKenzie did the honours. At the Lochalsh ceremony, Dorothy MacRae said she hoped with the availability of cheap electricity, new industries would start up, and that more young people would be able to stay in the Highlands rather than moving south for employment. Miss MacRae was later presented with a memento of the occasion by Provost Macglashan, Auchtertyre.

The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric project for the Lochalsh area was situated at Nostie Bridge, six miles from Kyle of Lochalsh. Work began in 1946 after an official pole raising ceremony that May, and the station was energized in December 1948. Original plans showed two dams, but the terrain proved unsuitable, and one dam was built across Allt Gleann Udalain. The reservoir, dam and power station were constructed at the same time as progress was going ahead with the distribution network, and in laying underwater cables across Loch Duich, Loch Long, Loch Carron and Loch Alsh.

The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was established under the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act 1943. Thomas Johnston presented the Act in the House of Commons, declaring that by harnessing 'the great latent power of the region' it would assist in remedying the ills that affected the Highlands. Johnston told the Commons that 'industries, whether owned nationally or privately, will be and ought to be, attracted to locations in the Highlands, as a result of this measure'.

Ordinary consumers would have priority, then the anticipated large power users, and any surplus energy would be sold to the national grid. Profits from these sales would help reduce distribution costs to more remote areas, and assist in carrying out measures for the economic development and social improvement of the Highlands. This famous social clause gave recognition that the Hydro Board was envisaged as an instrument for the rehabilitation of northern Scotland, not just an organization to provide electricity.

The output from the power station at Loch Sloy, west of Loch Lomond, was intended to meet the demand for central and western Scotland. The surplus energy produced here would be used to subsidise the Morar and Lochalsh projects, it being unlikely these smaller schemes could pay their way. The cost of construction of these three projects was estimated at £4,600,000


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Official Opening of Nostie Bridge Power Station

ROSS: Lochalsh

1940s

hydro-electric; Nostie Bridge; Lochalsh; Tom Johnston; Miss Dorothy MacRae; generating station

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

Watched by local dignitaries, Miss Dorothy MacRae of Conchra turns the wheel to start water flowing through the turbines at the Nostie Bridge power station. Earlier in the day, Chairman Tom Johnston, and members of the North of Scotland Hydro-Board joined locals to perform a similar ceremony in Morar, Inverness-shire, where local woman Mrs Catherine MacKenzie did the honours. At the Lochalsh ceremony, Dorothy MacRae said she hoped with the availability of cheap electricity, new industries would start up, and that more young people would be able to stay in the Highlands rather than moving south for employment. Miss MacRae was later presented with a memento of the occasion by Provost Macglashan, Auchtertyre.<br /> <br /> The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric project for the Lochalsh area was situated at Nostie Bridge, six miles from Kyle of Lochalsh. Work began in 1946 after an official pole raising ceremony that May, and the station was energized in December 1948. Original plans showed two dams, but the terrain proved unsuitable, and one dam was built across Allt Gleann Udalain. The reservoir, dam and power station were constructed at the same time as progress was going ahead with the distribution network, and in laying underwater cables across Loch Duich, Loch Long, Loch Carron and Loch Alsh.<br /> <br /> The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was established under the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act 1943. Thomas Johnston presented the Act in the House of Commons, declaring that by harnessing 'the great latent power of the region' it would assist in remedying the ills that affected the Highlands. Johnston told the Commons that 'industries, whether owned nationally or privately, will be and ought to be, attracted to locations in the Highlands, as a result of this measure'.<br /> <br /> Ordinary consumers would have priority, then the anticipated large power users, and any surplus energy would be sold to the national grid. Profits from these sales would help reduce distribution costs to more remote areas, and assist in carrying out measures for the economic development and social improvement of the Highlands. This famous social clause gave recognition that the Hydro Board was envisaged as an instrument for the rehabilitation of northern Scotland, not just an organization to provide electricity.<br /> <br /> The output from the power station at Loch Sloy, west of Loch Lomond, was intended to meet the demand for central and western Scotland. The surplus energy produced here would be used to subsidise the Morar and Lochalsh projects, it being unlikely these smaller schemes could pay their way. The cost of construction of these three projects was estimated at £4,600,000 <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>