Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Isle of Raasay Hydro-Electric Switch-On
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_11_028
PLACENAME
Raasay
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
DATE OF IMAGE
14 March 1956
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
9004
KEYWORDS
hydro-electric
Island of Raasay
electricity
Braes
Borodale House
Isle of Raasay Hydro-Electric Switch-On

This photograph was taken at Borodale House on the Island of Raasay on 14th March 1956. This was a day for the islanders to celebrate, as electricity became available to the island for the first time. The celebrations started in Balmeanach, Braes on Skye, where local residents, Hydro Board officials and guests assembled. Major General Harry Macdonald, proprietor of the Braes Estate, pressed the switch, and seconds later, rockets fired from Raasay signalled the arrival of electricity.

Powered from the generating station at Storr Lochs, the electricty went to Suishnish on Raasay via undersea cable from An Aird in Braes. After this official ceremony and speeches the guests went over to Raasay by fishing boat. The Hydro Board had a display of electrical appliances and a cookery demonstration at Borodale House.

The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board received permission to construct a dam and power station at Storr Lochs on the Isle of Skye in 1949. The project combined the waters of Loch Fada and Loch Leathan in the Storr Lochs reservoir, with the generating house below on Bearreraig Bay. Construction began in early 1950, and was commissioned in May 1952. Before this a number of houses in the Broadford area had electricity via underwater cable from Kyle of Lochalsh, sourced at Nostie Bridge power station. In Portree, the Royal Hotel had a small diesel generator which provided some street lighting and a few houses with electricity, while most hotels and some larger houses had their own generators.

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


This image can be purchased.
For further information about purchasing and prices please email
Skye and Lochalsh Archives

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Isle of Raasay Hydro-Electric Switch-On

INVERNESS: Portree

1950s

hydro-electric; Island of Raasay; electricity; Braes; Borodale House

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

This photograph was taken at Borodale House on the Island of Raasay on 14th March 1956. This was a day for the islanders to celebrate, as electricity became available to the island for the first time. The celebrations started in Balmeanach, Braes on Skye, where local residents, Hydro Board officials and guests assembled. Major General Harry Macdonald, proprietor of the Braes Estate, pressed the switch, and seconds later, rockets fired from Raasay signalled the arrival of electricity.<br /> <br /> Powered from the generating station at Storr Lochs, the electricty went to Suishnish on Raasay via undersea cable from An Aird in Braes. After this official ceremony and speeches the guests went over to Raasay by fishing boat. The Hydro Board had a display of electrical appliances and a cookery demonstration at Borodale House.<br /> <br /> The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board received permission to construct a dam and power station at Storr Lochs on the Isle of Skye in 1949. The project combined the waters of Loch Fada and Loch Leathan in the Storr Lochs reservoir, with the generating house below on Bearreraig Bay. Construction began in early 1950, and was commissioned in May 1952. Before this a number of houses in the Broadford area had electricity via underwater cable from Kyle of Lochalsh, sourced at Nostie Bridge power station. In Portree, the Royal Hotel had a small diesel generator which provided some street lighting and a few houses with electricity, while most hotels and some larger houses had their own generators.<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>