Electricity comes to Lismore.
Images, objects and documents from the Collections relating to the coming of mains electricity to Lismore in 1970.
In spite of the post war ambitions of Tom Johnston to bring progress to the Highlands by electrification, quarter of a century would elapse before the current reached Lismore by cable from Port Appin.
Up to that time, islanders had to rely on a mixture of paraffin, calor gas and diesel-generated electricity for lighting, heating and power. Mains electricity offered a simplification of life and a reduction in the time and effort to bring fuel from the mainland.
Saturday 31 October 1970 at the home of Donald John and Margaret MacDonald (3 Newfield Terrace), Michael Noble (MP for Argyll & Minister for Trade) turned on the first mains electric light on Lismore. The MacDonald house was one of the first 6 to be connected and there were 61 households to go. Also in the picture, Peggy (9), Lachie (5½), Tom Fraser(at back, chairman of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board) and Mr Mathieson (Convenor Argyll County Council). The visit to Margaret’s home followed an official reception at the school (during which islanders took the opportunity to take the convenor to task for spending money on chartering the “Claymore” for the visit rather than dealing with the potholes on Lismore’s roads). (Oban Times 5 November 1970).
Connection to mains electricity involved quite a lot of expense, as shown by the estimate from the Baligrundle 1 archive (September 1969):
Items from the Object Collection
Bakelite electrical fittings from BaligrundleChurch LISDD:2006. 71, 72, 75, 76