Archiver > NORTHUMBRIA > 2003-02 > 1046007772

From: Brian Pears <>
Subject: Re: Fw: [NMB] Norfolk to Northumberland
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 13:42:52 +0000
References: <009901c2db33$afec28e0$2a28fc3e@computer>
In-Reply-To: <009901c2db33$afec28e0$2a28fc3e@computer>

Fred Edgar <> wrote:
>Not only the workers, but also the entrepreneurs. I am thinking of
>Allheusen's (German?) chemical works, and Alphonse Reyrolle's (French)
>electrical in Hebburn (where my father worked most of his life). It must
>have been the Silicon Valley of its day, with a critical mass of industrial
>expertise to attract anyone with a bright idea.


Not to mention the marvellous river and rail transport systems
and, perhaps more importantly for the chemical and heavy
industry, the early, widespread and virtually unlimited
availability of electric power. Until the 1930s the North East
had the only power grid in the UK - it stretched from Tyneside
to Teesside and, as well as several large power stations, the
grid integrated dozens of colliery and factory power stations
(which supplied the local communities as well as the works)
into one giant system.

Being a pioneer had its drawbacks - the NE grid used a 40 Hz
system and the system chosen for the National Grid in 1932
was 50 Hz. The larger power stations - North Tees, Dunston,
Carville, Blaydon - were converted to 50 Hz, but the smaller
colliery and factory systems could not be economically
converted. They either closed immediately (eg the power
station at the Whinfield Works, Rowlands Gill) and imported
electricity from the National Grid, or they continued as
isolated systems not linked to the Grid (eg Chopwell Colliery
where the power station continued to supply Chopwell and
High Spen until 1959 when the North-Eastern Electricity
Board took over with a supply from the National Grid).

Cheers, Brian
Brian Pears (Gateshead, UK)
Joint Listowner NORTHUMBRIA Genealogy Mailing List
GENUKI Northumberland Maintainer

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