Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby duck » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:49 am

Socceroo wrote:I think Govan (Ibrox) Power Station was a Cleansing Depot from many years without generating electricity before it closed. I think it was still open until the 1990's.


Just recently discovered a little book from my Dad's collection -"Your own city- What every young citizen should know" which was given to pupils in the city's schools. In the chapter on Cleaning the City it states, "The refuse is taken to the nearest refuse disposal works, of which there are five in the city. The largest of these-and the largest of its kind in the world- is the Refuse Power Works in the Govan district. At the works, which deal with half the refuse of the city, all scrap metal is first extracted and then refuse put into incinerators. The residue left after incineration is known as "clinker" and is used for road making and concrete making. Clinker kerbs and paving slabs are made in the works".

From hints and facts in other chapters I think it was published around 1948.
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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby cell » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:24 am

I’ve probably covered most of the public electricity stations in Glasgow, so I thought I’d do something on the private industrial concerns. My information on these is much more patchy, so anything anyone can contribute would be gratefully received, especially details on the equipment and any pictures.

In the early years of the use of electricity most of the public supply was for lighting, manufacturers soon saw the benefit of using it for driving machines and were early adopters. Early on it was generally more cost effective to put in your own supply, however the big public and private generators soon started to supply industry and on the whole most manufacturers switched over. Only where there was a cheap supply of fuel (at mines) or the additional need for steam (chemical works etc) did it make sense to continue to generate your own power.

Singers
Singers seems to have had one of the biggest private power stations in Glasgow. The detail and pictures below were lifted from the excellent Clydebank story website unfortunately this site seems to have disappeared recently.

When the factory opened in 1884, it was lit by gas produced from a small gasworks built at the south-east corner of the Kilbowie site. The coal used in the production of gas was brought into the factory in North British Railway wagons provided exclusively for Singer's use.

Between 1904 and 1905, the Gas Works was demolished and replaced by a new electricity generating station built by Robert McAlpine & Sons. Described as an "ugly building with four tall black chimneys", the power station was extended on several occasions and eventually occupied an area of 4,800 square yards. At its peak it had one oil-fired and four coal-fired boilers, in addition to three turbo generators. Together these powered 25,000 electric motors, 16,000 electric light fittings and 55,000 miscellaneous components.

In 1968 Singer decided to replace the factory's ageing power station. The new plant, costing £1 million, was opened on 17 September 1971 by Lord Clydesmuir, the Chairman of the Scottish Council (Development and Industry). The old power station was demolished around the late summer of 1971

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The Singer power station, viewed from Kilbowie Road c 1958.
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The Singer Factory's power station, photographed from the south bank of the Forth and Clyde Canal, 1981.
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Rothesay Docks
Rothesay Dock was the first dock in the United Kingdom to be equipped entirely with electric machinery. The power station consisted of an engine house, a boiler house and a condensing plant house.
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Beardmore
1905 photo of power station from the Beardmore Built book
An additional engine of 2000hp was added 2 years later but I’m not sure if this generated electricity. The original power plant were Oechelhauser gas engines, manufactured under licence by Duncan Stewart of Glasgow
Image

Some other industrial sites that I know for certain had electricity generation include

Govan docks
Scottish Co-Op at Shieldhall
United Distillers at Port Dundas, still operational?
Fairfields at Govan
UCBS Bakery at the Gorbals
Babcocks at Renfrew
Cockburns Valves at Cardonald

The above are just a few of no doubt the many industrial concerns that generated their own electricity, if you know of any others I would be most grateful for any information or pictures.
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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby Karibou » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:51 pm

Hello everybody.
First thank you all to contribute to this website, it was the first website I bacame aware of in researching urban exploration in glasgow, and I'm really gratefull for all the info I found here.

I live near the ST andrews works and I was thinking of going there to shoot some photos of the place (you never know what can happen to old factories close to motorway junctions these days) It is supposed to be abandoned now, but when I went past one of the big doors on Pollockshaws rd I heard the drone of a engine inside (not too loud though) would it be possible that the place is still active? It really looks derelict from the outside (birds flying form holes in the wall and vegetation growing throught holes on the façade and on the roof.

So if anybody has more info on this place it would be very nice to learn a little bit more, I don't really want to try and get into an active electric plant, this is not what I do.

I'm really looking forward to seeing from the inside (if possible) from what I can gather from this post it would be the glaswegian power plant in best shape...

cheers for reading
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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby DickyHart » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:16 pm

St Andrews works, was used by Strathclyde region,then GCC after the reorganisation of the councils. They used it a printing works until a few years ago. I used to work in the tenement that became a hostel at the end of the building(thats now demolished) I recall seeing a lot of machinery being removed. Over a few weeks, that was about 15 years ago. Dont think there much in it. There is if nenory serves an electric power thing as part of the building, but I think it serves the generel area now, as well as it did St Andrews works. Which is probably why your heard the noise. Either that or theres a huge pigeon in there!!

Hope that helps you a wee bit.

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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby gap74 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:40 am

There's mention on this page here that Hallside Steelworks in Cambuslang generated its own electricity, about halfway down the page:

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/steelworks/S ... llside.htm

The pattern so far as Hallside was concerned was much as it had been before, except that from 1908 onwards there was a general increase in the capacity of the eight furnaces and other equipment and the company generated its own electricity to light the works and run the rolling mill auxiliaries. The mills themselves remained steam-driven, and the cogging mill did not go over finally to electricity until 1918. The plate mills had stopped production in 1890. About this time the foundry made a substantial contribution to the company's output, and the stems, sternposts, brackets and other castings it turned out helped to build many famous ships. Some of its castings weighed 50 tons. The forge, too, was busy, mainly with locomotive, carriage and wagon axles.
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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby Karibou » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:48 am

Thank you both! yes its helpfull! i'll post pictures If I manage to have a look.
it would just make my year if the furnace is still in there.
A bit tricky though if a part of it is still in use...
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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby gap74 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:50 pm

Looks like there's a couple of shots of the Hallside Steelworks power station on the RCAHMS Canmore site, courtesy of John Hume's collections:

This one is dated 1978, a year before the works closed, and looks fairly modern:

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/details/535990/

This one is also dated 1978, but claims to show the ex-power station, so presumably an earlier structure:

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/details/535947/
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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby cell » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:37 pm

Thanks for the info Gap, I have a few steel works in my database, but I hadn’t seen the Hallside pictures or the info on the old station. I had excluded steel works from the list above, as I tend to think of them being outside Glasgow but I was forgetting about the Cambuslang ones. The cfindlay web site is a great place for info on Scotland’s Iron and Steel history, well worth a visit if you are interested in that sort of stuff.

Other steel works in Scotland that I know generated electricity are Ravenscraig, Clyde Iron Works, Clydebridge Steel Works, Gartsherrie Iron Works, Shotts Iron Works, Wishaw Iron & Steel Works, Carron Iron Works and Glengarnock Steel Works. I’ve got some details from the RCAHMS and cfindlay sites but if anyone comes across anything else I’d be interested to see it.

Steelworks generally use a lot of electricity for rollers and steam for turbo blowers and often make use of waste heat boilers and blast furnace/coke oven gas as a fuel. They sometimes generate both AC & DC or use converters (I believe sometimes called Ilgner sets) to allow an AC feed to be taken from the mains. DC, I believe, used to be better for variable speed motors which you have in rolling mills. I have come across references to power stations at steel works where no electricity is actually generated but it was where the turbo blowers and converter sets were located.

On a similar industrial theme, there were a number of coal mines in the Lanarkshire area which generated their own electricity however, I’m particularly interested in any details of the NCB Central Generating Station which was at Shotts. This seems to have been quite a large station as it supplied a number of mines (KEPPLEHILL 1 and 2 Colliery CALDERHEAD 3 and 4 Colliery (also known as MUIRACRE Colliery) BATON Colliery and FORTISSAT Colliery). All I have for this one is a closure date of 1954, I don’t even know exactly where it was located, anyone any ideas?

Karibou, while there is no generating plant in St Andrews, I think there are some transformers for the grid in there, so I would think it would be very difficult to get in never mind pretty dangerous. I’ve also had a good look round the outside a couple of years ago and there was a travellers camp around the back, while no doubt pleasant enough folk, once you get to know them, they can be a bit suspicious of unexpected visitors. Having said that, tread with caution and I look forward to any pictures you get!
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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby David Fife » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:02 pm

Hello Folks,

Not entirely related to Glasgow, but I wonder if anyone might be able to help with the following: somewhere, perhaps on 'Hidden Glasgow' or the 'Secret Scotland' pages, I previously came upon a reference to the proposed use of the electrical output from the post-war North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board's power stations to supply nuclear fuel (uranium) enrichment plants. Unfortunately, I can no longer find the connection or thread. I seem to recall that there was a specific reference to one site with plans outlining the location of the proposed enrichment works.

Can anyone help with a link to this information, or confirm this brief association between Scottish hydro power and nuclear proposals ?

Many thanks.

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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby cell » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:10 pm

Can't help with the specific request, but I do remember coming across some reference to the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board wanting to site a Nuclear station near Inverness? I think the government of the time decided that only the SSEB and the CECB had the resources to build and run nuclear stations and they "dissuaded" the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board from pursuing this.
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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby David Fife » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:25 pm

Hello again Cell,

I actually managed to find a print out of the thread last night; (I really ought to reorder my files).
Essentially, the proposition is that, during the the immediate post-war period, the UK Department of Atomic Energy had considered the construction of a Heavy Water Plant (not uranium enrichment as I had erroneously suggested) at Morar in the Highlands. Morar was the site of the Hydro Board's first station, but one of the principal objections to this notion is the very low installed capacity there; being only circa 1MW.Seemingly, there also were plans based on the pre-existing hydro-electric plant at Maentwrog in Wales.

You may be aware of the recent Historic Scotland publication "Power to the People", charting hydro-electric development in Scotland. All major participants -- NSH, ScottishPower, and Alcan -- feature, and it is downloadable from: -

http://www.celebratingscotlandsarchitec ... nloads.htm

Have you discovered any other interesting plants recently ?

Regards,
David
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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby cell » Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:35 pm

I hadn’t seen that publication, the printer at work on Monday is going to be busy! Thanks for the link.

I had a look and found a reference in Peter Payne’s book “The Hydro”. During a debate on the 2nd Glen Affric scheme, there seems to have been reluctance by Tom Johnston to divulge details on why there would be no delay to develop hydro power during the war and there had been some secrecy around the fact that the original enquiry into the Grampian scheme had been held in camera. Payne asks the question “was the government contemplating the exploitation of Highland water resources for the production of heavy water as an essential component of an atomic bomb?” and references a Scotsman article by Hamish McKinven “Water Power and the Bomb 27/02/87. He does go on to say that it was improbable as the existing British Aluminium installations could have been utilised if required, but to me, the production of Aluminium for aircraft would already have had a high priority.

Let us know if you get a hold of the article and find anything of interest.
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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby David Fife » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:21 pm

Many thanks Cell. I'll try and locate that Scotsman article.
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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby gap74 » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:02 am

I was at the launch for the Historic Scotland's hydro power booklet, it involved a wee afternoon tour to Pitlochry and Kinloch Rannoch to see some of the structures, very interesting.

I think you can get a hard copy of it if you write to them, well worth it as it's nicely illustrated.
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Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow

Postby cell » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:39 pm

Here is a great old advert for the Glasgow Corporation Electricity Department. I guess it is from the thirties, the station is very stylised but could be Dalmarnock, a bit of artistic licence has been taken with the pylon, they’re not really that big!

Image
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