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TITLE
Official Opening Nostie Bridge Power Station
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_1_046
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
8446
KEYWORDS
hydro-electric
Nostie Bridge
Lochalsh
generating station
Dorothy MacRae
Tom Johnston
Official Opening Nostie Bridge Power Station

On the shortest day of the year in 1948 workmen, dignitaries, Hydro Board members and locals assembled for the official opening of the hydro-electric power station at Nostie Bridge. Earlier in the day, North of Scotland Hydro-Board officials had opened the Board's first water power station at Morar, Inverness-shire, before travelling by steamer from Mallaig to Kyle of Lochalsh, then on to Nostie Bridge.

The Inverness Courier wrote of the occasion, 'In the power station an old cruise lamp was burning, and when Miss Dorothy MacRae, Conchra, pulled the switch to operate the station, the lights on a Christmas tree 18 feet high were lit up, giving a charming and appropriate effect.' Miss MacRae in her speech expressed hope that young people would be able to stay in the Highlands, and industry would flourish.

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 Nostie Bridge Power Station

ROSS: Lochalsh

1940s

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

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

On the shortest day of the year in 1948 workmen, dignitaries, Hydro Board members and locals assembled for the official opening of the hydro-electric power station at Nostie Bridge. Earlier in the day, North of Scotland Hydro-Board officials had opened the Board's first water power station at Morar, Inverness-shire, before travelling by steamer from Mallaig to Kyle of Lochalsh, then on to Nostie Bridge.<br /> <br /> The Inverness Courier wrote of the occasion, 'In the power station an old cruise lamp was burning, and when Miss Dorothy MacRae, Conchra, pulled the switch to operate the station, the lights on a Christmas tree 18 feet high were lit up, giving a charming and appropriate effect.' Miss MacRae in her speech expressed hope that young people would be able to stay in the Highlands, and industry would flourish.<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>