The Dam Builders

Power from the Glens

James Miller, Jim Miller

This is a vivid account of the schemes which brought electricity to the Scottish Highlands between the end of World War II and 1975. Including eyewitness stories from many of the workers, it tells how the Board had to overcome adverse weather and thrawn geology, as well as political opposition.
Date Published :
June 2003
Publisher :
Illustration :
b&w illustrations throughout, map
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781841582252
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 10.25 X 6.7 inches
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In the thirty years after the end of the Second World War, the construction schemes of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electic Board changed the face of the Highlands and brought electricity to almost the whole of the country north of the Highland Line. Nothing on such a scale had been attempted before. Fired by the idealism of Tom Johnston, the Board's founder and Secretary of State for Scotland, the schemes brought regeneration and hope.

The names of the schemes - Loch Sloy, Glen Shira, Tummel-Garry, the Conon valley, Glen Affric, Strathfarrar-Kilmorack, Glenmoriston-Garry, Shin, Breadalbane, Ben Cruchan - are vivid in the memories of all who worked on them, in an epic of hard physical labour in a beautiful landscape. By the time the last scheme was opened in Foyers in 1975, the engineers had built some fifty major dams and power stations, almost 200 miles of tunnel, 400 miles of road, and over 20,000 miles of power line.

The Board had to overcome adverse weather and thrawn geology, as well as political opposition. At the peak of construction the workforce numbered around 12,000 and included men from Ireland and many parts of Europe as well as indigenous Scots. The Dam Builders: Power From the Glens is a vivid account of the schemes and includes eyewitness stories from many of the workers who made the elecrification of the Highlands a reality.

About The Author

James Miller was born and brought up in Caithness. After working abroad and in London he returned to the north of Scotland to work as a full-time writer. His previous books published by Birlinn include Swords for Hire, The Dam Builders and The Foresters. He lives near Inverness.

JIM MILLER IS the author of a number of books, including Salt in the Blood and A Wild and Open Sea. He is currently working on a book, The Dambuilders, for Birlinn. He lives near Inverness.

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