Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Tom Johnston at the Official Opening of Nostie Bridge Power Station
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_1_043
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
8439
KEYWORDS
hydro-electric
Nostie Bridge
Lochalsh
Tom Johnston
Miss Dorothy MacRae
generating station
Tom Johnston at the Official Opening of Nostie Bridge Power Station

Backed by local dignitaries and members of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, Tom Johnston makes a speech to mark the official opening of the hydro-electric power station at Nostie Bridge. Earlier that same day, Johnston and Hydro-Board members performed a similar ceremony at the power station in Morar, Inverness-shire then travelled by steamer from Mallaig to Kyle of Lochalsh and on to Nostie Bridge.

Seeing these two stations energized was the fulfilment of Johnston's ambition and vision to bring cheap electricity to the Highlands. The Inverness Courier reported that Johnston said 'for the first time in a hundred years they were developing and marketing the economic resources of the Highlands in such a way as to provide amenity, economic profit and hope for the local population'. Johnston said that the number of households that wanted electricity was very high, with 85% in Morar, and 90% in Lochalsh of potential customers being connected. Johnston pointed out that the idea that the Highlanders didn't want electricity and were happy with the oil lamps of generations past, was refuted by the demand for electricity in these areas. Not even in the large cities was the demand for electricity proportionately so high as in these two Highland schemes.

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


This image can be purchased.
For further information about purchasing and prices please email
Skye and Lochalsh Archives

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Tom Johnston at the 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

Backed by local dignitaries and members of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, Tom Johnston makes a speech to mark the official opening of the hydro-electric power station at Nostie Bridge. Earlier that same day, Johnston and Hydro-Board members performed a similar ceremony at the power station in Morar, Inverness-shire then travelled by steamer from Mallaig to Kyle of Lochalsh and on to Nostie Bridge.<br /> <br /> Seeing these two stations energized was the fulfilment of Johnston's ambition and vision to bring cheap electricity to the Highlands. The Inverness Courier reported that Johnston said 'for the first time in a hundred years they were developing and marketing the economic resources of the Highlands in such a way as to provide amenity, economic profit and hope for the local population'. Johnston said that the number of households that wanted electricity was very high, with 85% in Morar, and 90% in Lochalsh of potential customers being connected. Johnston pointed out that the idea that the Highlanders didn't want electricity and were happy with the oil lamps of generations past, was refuted by the demand for electricity in these areas. Not even in the large cities was the demand for electricity proportionately so high as in these two Highland schemes.<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>