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TITLE
Official Opening of Nostie Bridge Power Station
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_1_044
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
8441
KEYWORDS
hydro-electric
Nostie Bridge
Lochalsh
Tom Johnston
Miss Dorothy MacRae
generating station
Rev John MacDougall
Official Opening of Nostie Bridge Power Station

The minister for Kyle and Plockton parish, Rev John MacDougall, took part in the ceremony to mark the official opening of the Nostie Bridge power station. Tom Johnston, Chairman of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, and Miss Dorothy MacRae of Conchra standing on either side of Rev MacDougall are obviously enjoying the day and Rev MacDougall's speech. Dorothy MacRae, owner of the Conchra estate on which the station was built, was invited to perform the official 'switch on' of water for the turbines. Johnston undoubtedly could not help but enjoy the event, this being the fulfilment of his ambition and hard work to bring cheap electricity, and with it prosperity and hope for the future, to the Highlands.

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; Rev John MacDougall

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

The minister for Kyle and Plockton parish, Rev John MacDougall, took part in the ceremony to mark the official opening of the Nostie Bridge power station. Tom Johnston, Chairman of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, and Miss Dorothy MacRae of Conchra standing on either side of Rev MacDougall are obviously enjoying the day and Rev MacDougall's speech. Dorothy MacRae, owner of the Conchra estate on which the station was built, was invited to perform the official 'switch on' of water for the turbines. Johnston undoubtedly could not help but enjoy the event, this being the fulfilment of his ambition and hard work to bring cheap electricity, and with it prosperity and hope for the future, to the Highlands. <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>