Monday, July 13, 2009

Building up the Home industries in WW2

A 'Megger Tester' made in September 1939
Manufactured by Evershed & Vignoles Ltd, Chiswick, London)
(Photograph: J. Ritson)

Recently, some work colleagues came across some obsolete documents and equipment from the war years hidden away in an old workshop and having gathered dust and grime for many years. Materially, these things may not have much value and may not, at first glance, even be that historically important. However, they do provide an insight that the home industries in Britain continued to be built up even during the war years.

These items were found in West Cumbria, an area to where a lot of important British industries, such as munitions or uniform manufacture, were relocated from the Home Counties. New factories and homes for many of the relocated workers required new electricity connections, and it is evidence how the electricity network continued to be built up that has come to light with this find, including the ‘Megger Tester’ seen in the photograph above.

For additional informantion click on ‘Comments’ below


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

Among the items found was a meter record card from 1944 showing that the electricity network was first supplied to Bootle Station (a rural part of SW Cumbria situated between Egremont and Millom). Another item was a ‘Megger Tester’ manufactured in September 1939 by Evershed & Vignoles Ltd, Acton Lane Works, Chiswick, London W4. (High-Range Constant Pressure Testing Set). It is approximately the size and weight of a car battery. After 70 years or so the ‘megger’ still seems to work, so it was a well built piece of equipment. There is also a little information about the South Cumberland Electricity Company who carried out the rural electricity development in this part of Cumbria prior to post-war nationalisation. Interestingly, this was the month when Germany invaded Poland resulting in Britain and France declaring war on Germany.

After the war, all the electricity companies were nationalised and the South Cumberland Electricity Company became part of the North West Electricity Board. These are predecessor companies of the present United Utilities plc, on whose behalf I have now donated the items to The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven, Cumbria which will be useful to their wartime and industrial heritage collections. Future generations will be able to have an insight into a small part of British industrial development and manufacture during WW2.

Monday, 13 July, 2009  

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