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TITLE
Hydro Electric Exhibition at Kirkton, near Balmacara
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_10_031
PLACENAME
Kirkton
DISTRICT
South West Ross
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Lochalsh
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
8938
KEYWORDS
hydro-electric
displays
aricultural show
Kirkton
Hydro Electric Exhibition at Kirkton, near Balmacara

The late 1950s saw ongoing construction of hydro-electric power stations in the Highlands with an average of four new stations being commissioned each year over the decade. The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board approach was to push ahead at an almost frantic pace while financial support from government was accessible and opposition quiet. The result was development like at no other time and the Board's original goal of providing low cost electricity to the Highlands became a reality.

The Hydro Board took every opportunity to promote the use of electricity in the home, workplace, and for agricultural purposes. As well as Hydro shops opening on the High Street of most towns, displays and demonstrations of appliances and their uses were put on in village halls and at local shows and events. This photograph shows the prize giving at the annual agricultural show at Kirkton, near Balmacara. The Hydro Board had a very visible presence with their vans prominently displaying their name and the Hydro Board crest, and no doubt had displays for the public.

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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Hydro Electric Exhibition at Kirkton, near Balmacara

ROSS: Lochalsh

1950s

hydro-electric; displays; aricultural show; Kirkton

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

The late 1950s saw ongoing construction of hydro-electric power stations in the Highlands with an average of four new stations being commissioned each year over the decade. The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board approach was to push ahead at an almost frantic pace while financial support from government was accessible and opposition quiet. The result was development like at no other time and the Board's original goal of providing low cost electricity to the Highlands became a reality.<br /> <br /> The Hydro Board took every opportunity to promote the use of electricity in the home, workplace, and for agricultural purposes. As well as Hydro shops opening on the High Street of most towns, displays and demonstrations of appliances and their uses were put on in village halls and at local shows and events. This photograph shows the prize giving at the annual agricultural show at Kirkton, near Balmacara. The Hydro Board had a very visible presence with their vans prominently displaying their name and the Hydro Board crest, and no doubt had displays for the public.<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 />