Sunday, 26 November 2017

Londonderry's Electric Lighting Station.

It becomes a mite disconcerting when one's recollections take on an historical twist. Only those of us who were born prior to the Munich air disaster are likely to have much recollection of the Corporation's Power Station on the Strand Road, certainly as a functioning entity. It ran on solid fuel, coke, if my memory serves. I seem to remember that a reserve store of coke was kept at the Brandywell in the area which was used as a recycling centre until recently.

I have read that Londonderry Corporation's electricity station was operating from 1892 but the first tranche of ground at Strand Road was acquired from the Irish Society by way of an assurance dated 20th July 1893 and indeed these lands were subject to two leases which had been created by the Irish Society. The first of these was in favour of a Henry Barre Beresford and was for sixty six years from 29th September 1836. The second lease was in favour of one William Charles Babington and was for a term of ninety nine years expiring in 1916. I suspect that the Corporation had acquired the benefit of these leases by the date of the July 1893 Fee Farm Grant. This view would be sported by the fact that the Corporation Covenanted with the Irish Society to, " erect and complete within one year to the satisfaction of the Irish Society an Electric Light Station to serve the present and prospective requirements for lighting the City by electricity."

On 24th February 1904 the Corporation acquired further lands from the Irish Society so as to extend the Electric Lighting Station. Subsequent to this further smaller portions of land were conveyed to the Corporation by the Irish Society on 19th December 1916 and 20th September 1933.

The map endorsed on the Fee Farm Grant of 1893 shows the existence of Fox's Lane running from Strand Road to the Quay. This thoroughfare seems to have been incorporated into the site of the Electricity Station.

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