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TITLE
Pole raising ceremony at Kyle of Lochalsh
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_10_00B
PLACENAME
Kyle of Lochalsh
DISTRICT
South West Ross
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Lochalsh
DATE OF IMAGE
22 May 1946
PERIOD
1940s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
8875
KEYWORDS
hydro-electric
Kyle of Lochalsh
pole raising
Pole raising ceremony at Kyle of Lochalsh

A bright spring day in May 1946 marked the beginning of the Lochalsh area hydro-electric project. The local community came out in good numbers to support the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board and guests. School children seated themselves on the hill around a cordoned off area where a ceremonial pole raising was the highlight of the day. Construction of the dams, reservoirs and power station started shortly after with electricity being switched on in December 1948.

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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Pole raising ceremony at Kyle of Lochalsh

ROSS: Lochalsh

1940s

hydro-electric; Kyle of Lochalsh; pole raising

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

A bright spring day in May 1946 marked the beginning of the Lochalsh area hydro-electric project. The local community came out in good numbers to support the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board and guests. School children seated themselves on the hill around a cordoned off area where a ceremonial pole raising was the highlight of the day. Construction of the dams, reservoirs and power station started shortly after with electricity being switched on in December 1948.<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>