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TITLE
Hydro-Electric Staff - Kyle of Lochalsh
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_15_011
PLACENAME
Kyle of Lochalsh
DISTRICT
South West Ross
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Lochalsh
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
9219
KEYWORDS
hydro-electric
Kyle of Lochalsh
Nostie Bridge
office workers
employment
Royal Bank of Scotland
Kyle Hotel
Hydro-Electric Staff - Kyle of Lochalsh

The two men on the left are area manager Torquil Nicolson and Alec Wilson, both employed by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board. The other two men are unidentified officials from the Hydro Board. Kyle of Lochalsh was the main headquarters for this area which covered Skye and north of Kyle including Lochcarron and Applecross. The photograph was taken on Main Street, Kyle, where they are standing outside the offices and showroom for the Hydro Board, which is still there to-day. Behind them is the Royal Bank of Scotland, formerly the Commercial Bank, which was built in 1896. Beside the bank building is the Kyle Hotel, which has operated as a hotel since the 1700s.

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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Hydro-Electric Staff - Kyle of Lochalsh

ROSS: Lochalsh

1950s

hydro-electric; Kyle of Lochalsh; Nostie Bridge; office workers; employment; Royal Bank of Scotland; Kyle Hotel

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

The two men on the left are area manager Torquil Nicolson and Alec Wilson, both employed by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board. The other two men are unidentified officials from the Hydro Board. Kyle of Lochalsh was the main headquarters for this area which covered Skye and north of Kyle including Lochcarron and Applecross. The photograph was taken on Main Street, Kyle, where they are standing outside the offices and showroom for the Hydro Board, which is still there to-day. Behind them is the Royal Bank of Scotland, formerly the Commercial Bank, which was built in 1896. Beside the bank building is the Kyle Hotel, which has operated as a hotel since the 1700s.<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 />