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ABERYSTWYTH POWER STATION

Cover of booklet

An electricity power station was established in Mill Street, Aberystwyth in 1892. It was privately run until the town took it over in 1936, and was nationalised in 1948, but remained independent of the National Grid for some time. The number of generators increased gradually and the capicity rose from 260kw in 1895 to 5320kw in 1950.

It was housed in a large building near the mill and was powered at first by steam then diesel from 1910. It was cooled by river water. It closed in 1964

The Physics Department of the University was the first to use electricity in Aberystwyth, in about 1890. Electricity was first used in the town in 1892 when Bourne and Grant installed a power plant [in Mill Street]. The laundry in Mill Street had its own generator and produced more than it required for its own use.

In 1895, the Chiswick Electricity Co. took over the generation of electricity in Mill Street. There were four boilers and three steam engines driving three dynamos. In the same year the promenade and pier were lit by electricity.

In 1905, the Electric Light Company of Aberystwyth promised to provide the town with a continuous current, day and night and in 1906 they gave away free wiring and fittings to encourage people to use electricity.

In 1910 a diesel engine was installed, and three more arrived in the following years [by 1915?].

In 1936 the electricity works in Aberystwyth were taken over by the Town Council who offered to install four lights in each home in the town free of charge. They installed three new diesel engines.

In 1938 three of the four old diesel engines were replaced when a.c. replaced d.c.

In 1948 two more diesel engines were installed and the works were nationalised, but remained independent of the National Grid for some time - the only oil powered generating station in Britain to be independent.

In 1950, three more generating sets were installed.

Electrical faults were blamed for two big fires in Aberystwyth. The sweet factory in South Road was burnt (and all the stock destroyed), soon after it was wired up in the 1890s and the stables below Phillips' Hall in Terrace Road, (the site of the Ceredigion Museum) was destroyed by fire in 1903.

Lewis, W.J., (1980), Born on a Perilous Rock, 110-112

Cambrian News, 26.4.1895, 2.8.1895, 9.8.1895, 14.10.1905, 26.10.1906,

Evans, Tom, (2000), Electricity Comes to Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, vol, xiii, no 4, 73-80

British Electricity Authority, Aberystwyth power station, 1950

ELECTRICITY POWER STATIONS IN CEREDIGION