ELECTRICITY 02

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Stanley
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ELECTRICITY 02

Post by Stanley » 14 Sep 2018, 09:35

ELECTRICITY 02

In 1881 the first public electricity supply was inaugurated at Godalming in Surrey. Earlier in 1878 a 12 horse power Siemens machine was demonstrated in Burnley and used to power 3 lights of 8,000 candle power illuminating a football field. These were all DC machines. In January 1893 Nelson got its first AC generator, 43kW and in August a 200kW station was opened in Burnley. In 1902 another generator started in Colne, the tide of public electricity was creeping slowly towards us! In 1924 consent was given for the Lancashire Electric Power Company to build a 12,000kW generating station at Padiham which went into production in January 1927. This plant was immediately enlarged to cope with demand and started supplying electricity by high tension transmission lines to Nelson and Colne. In turn Nelson started to negotiate with Barnoldswick and Earby with a view to supplying them.
BUDC agreed immediately to take the supply and in June 1929 the first distribution cables were laid in Church Street, Rainhall Road and Albert Street. At the same time it was reported that work was under way erecting the transmission lines to Earby and Barlick from Nelson and the supply was expected to arrive in September. In July 1929 Taylor's Contractors of Butts were given the contract to build an electricity sub station to receive the supply on Valley Road at a cost of £467. On September 21st Earby beat Barlick by a week when the supply was switched on. The supply to the Wellhouse sub station was switched on on Friday 20th of September and after testing the official opening was set for October 9th. By November 8th the Craven Herald reports that 231 customers were connected out of 291 who had applied. It was estimated that 400 customers were needed to make the supply pay and this total was soon reached and exceeded. We had moved into the modern era!
At first it was feared that the advent of electricity would reduce demand for gas and render the municipal gasworks uneconomic but this never happened. The advent of electricity stimulated an entirely new market for domestic appliances and of course things like light fittings which extended to gas and consumption actually rose. There was a demand for other services and the new trade, the electricians, was greatly stimulated. Places like the Majestic Cinema and the Co-op did away with their gas engines and generators and went onto the mains. Most of the mills kept their generators as the cost was written off and they could make electricity cheaper than mains price. This applied to Bancroft Shed until it closed in 1978. One more transmission line was put in to supply the increased demand of the Shadow Factories after 1940, it came from Keighley and is still in use.
That was a bit of a gallop but when you switch on a light or domestic appliance you now know how you got the benefit of electricity! All right, it's expensive but think where we would be without it!

Image

The dairy depot on Valley Road, the original sub station.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
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