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TITLE
Street Lighting in Plockton
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_1_048
PLACENAME
Plockton
DISTRICT
South West Ross
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Lochalsh
PERIOD
1940s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
8450
KEYWORDS
hydro-electric
street lights
carbide lights
Plockton
Nostie Bridge
Street Lighting in Plockton

With electricity available to every household in the Lochalsh area when the power station at Nostie Bridge became operational, street and outdoor lights became much more common. Until that time certain areas had their own means of street lighting such as carbide lamps on posts which were lit only on dark nights and put out at 10 pm. Households made voluntary payments to these costs, which as Duncan Macpherson, the chemist in Kyle of Lochalsh pointed out, created a certain unfairness where 'street lights shone indiscriminately on subscribers and non-subscribers to the funds'. When electricity became available to all, street lighting in the area was covered in the local rates. This photograph shows a house near Plockton with bright new outside illumination.

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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Street Lighting in Plockton

ROSS: Lochalsh

1940s

hydro-electric; street lights; carbide lights; Plockton; Nostie Bridge

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

With electricity available to every household in the Lochalsh area when the power station at Nostie Bridge became operational, street and outdoor lights became much more common. Until that time certain areas had their own means of street lighting such as carbide lamps on posts which were lit only on dark nights and put out at 10 pm. Households made voluntary payments to these costs, which as Duncan Macpherson, the chemist in Kyle of Lochalsh pointed out, created a certain unfairness where 'street lights shone indiscriminately on subscribers and non-subscribers to the funds'. When electricity became available to all, street lighting in the area was covered in the local rates. This photograph shows a house near Plockton with bright new outside illumination.<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><br />