Underground Cable Photo Album 1890-1940 – Western Power Distribution (WPD)
Published 15 May 2018
uploaded by: Chris Dodds - Thorne & Derrick Sales & Marketing Manager
Electricity history courtesy of the Western Power Electricity Historical Society UK – photographs of pulling, laying and jointing LV up to 33kV cables from yesteryear.
Peer into the past to a time when dapper, bowler-hatted and waistcoated Cable Gang Managers attired in three piece suits oversaw the hand pulling of cables into trenches worked by Jointers in cloth caps, trouser braces and brogues.
The first picture is poignant, The Cable Gang.
Workmates Tom, Arthur and Albert carted up and ready for a day in the cable trench.
It’s 1915 and the First World War is raging across Europe. No doubt the Gang would have friends and family in an altogether different type of trench somewhere along the muddy and bloody Western Front.
The Cable Gang – a cable jointing gang in Shirehampton Road. Bristol. Tom Webb was in charge of driving cart, tall man is Arthur Attwood and on the extreme right is cable jointer Albert Keepin (1915).
Cable Laying – power cables being manually pulled from cable drums and laid underground at High Street/Back of Bridge Street, Bristol (1898).
Cable Protection – Baldwin Street cable works with cable protection covers and markers made from brick, Bristol (1893).
Cable Pulling – electric power cables being laid into cable trench from The Strand to Beacon Quay electricity works Devon, Torquay (1897).
Power Rectifiers – three Willans steam engine/Easton Anderson alternators with three Ferranti rectifiers in background. Devon, Torquay (1898).
Cable Jointing – Baldwin Street, near Bristol Bridge. Mr J Duggan behind cloth capped gentleman on left. Note bricks with circuit description (1900).
Trimming Team – arc lamp maintenance and trimmer team. Bristol (1904).
High Voltage Jointing – 10kV 0.4 PILC high voltage cable in Mannesman tubes and low voltage cables in a bunch. Cornwall, Causewayhead, Penzance (1912).
Cable Diversions – Temple Back from Half Penny Bridge direction. On the photograph, the cables have been identified in ink. Bristol, Temple Back (1914).
Cable Works – extensive cable works in Temple Back facing Phillip Street. On the photograph, the cables have been identified in ink. Bristol, Temple Back (1914).
Cable Diversion – cable diversions from Temple Back adjacent to Half Penny Bridge. On the photograph, the cables have been identified in ink. Bristol Tramways and Carriage Power Station opposite and Castle Flour Mills across bridge in background (1914).
Cable Jointers – some cable jointers and workmen involved in the single to 3 phase changeover photographed in Vyvian Terrace. Bristol, Clifton (1921).
Power Cables – delivery of Henley cables. Small van of Cornwall Electric Power Company (1927).
33kV Cables – submarine cable from Saltash to Devonport being installed. Devon, Torpoint (1931).
33kV Cables – Devonport to Saltash 33kV power cable crossing. Barge with high voltage cable on Devonport shore (1931).
33kV Cables – cable laying and jointing 33kV cables from Portishead Generating Station across River Avon (to Avonmouth). North Somerset, Portbury (1934).
33kV Cables – laying 33kV cables from Portishead Generating Station between Avonmouth Dock and Avonmouth. Bristol, Avonmouth Dock (1934).
Laying 33kV Cables – from Portishead Generating Station between Avonmouth Dock and Avonmouth at River Avon crossing. Avonmouth Dock high voltage cables being greased before being pulled through pipes across River Avon (1934).
33kV Cables – 33kV Callenders submarine cable passing through Barnstaple. Devon, Barnstaple (1934).
33kV Cables – River Taw crossing. 21 ton drum of Callender 33,000kV submarine cable for Whitehall Securities Corp. Ltd. View of cable drum on special low loading wagon. Devon, Barnstaple (1935).
Thorne & Derrick Working With Western Power Distribution
Today Western Power Distribution (WPD), is the electricity distribution network operator for the Midlands, South Wales and the South West.
Electricity is conveyed countrywide via the National Grid at 275kV or 400kV – the EHV (Extra High Voltage) power is reduced to 132kV for regional distribution at high voltage substations known as Grid Supply Points. From there the power is distributed to further electricity substations via overhead lines or underground cables at 132kV. The voltage is reduced again to 33kV and then to 11kV by medium voltage transformers.
This power distribution network then carries electricity to individual towns and villages throughout the Midlands, South West and Wales where distribution substations transform the voltage to low voltages (230 volts).
WPD network is comprised of over 220,000 kilometres of overhead lines and power cables and 185,000 transformers which are used to step down voltages. These medium/high voltage transformers vary in size from large units capable of supplying an entire town, to tiny ones serving isolated remote cottages.
Since 1985, Thorne & Derrick have been proud to supply and support WPD with an extensive range of LV, MV & HV Jointing, Earthing, Substation & Electrical Eqpt.
Headquartered in Bristol, Thorne & Derrick’s home DNO is WPD.
THORNE & DERRICK are national distributors of LV, MV & HV Cable Installation, Jointing, Duct Sealing, Earthing & Electrical Equipment – we service UK and global businesses involved in cable installations, cable jointing, substation, overhead line and electrical construction at LV, 11kV, 33kV and EHV.
Contact us for 3M Electrical, ABB, Alroc, AN Wallis, CATU Electrical, Cembre, Centriforce, CMP, CSD, Elastimold, Ellis Patents, Emtelle, Euromold, Filoform , Furse, Lucy Electric & Zodion, Nexans, Pfisterer, Polypipe, Prysmian, Roxtec, Sicame, WT Henley.