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Electric Light Works October 1902

The formal opening of the works in Bennett Street, Ryde on Thursday the 1st. was performed by the Mayor, Mr. A Millward in the presence of many guests, Mr Wigham chief engineer of Edmondson’s Electricity Corporation represented the company. A photograph was taken to record the event and then the guests were then taken on a tour of the new faculty where Mr. Wigham explained how gas was produced to drive the engines.

He explained that the burning of anthracite coal to produce gas was helped by using pressurised air and all the by products were used, they also achieved more gas from the process than was obtained by the gas company, however the gas produced could not be used for domestic lighting. The gas was only made as required to met the demands of the plant and they only had enough gas storage for about 15 minutes production. Equipment for cooling and cleaning the gas was then shown.

The party then moved into the old gymnasium which has been transformed to accommodate the two gas engines, Mr Wigham explained there was ample room for expansion as demand increased. The three cylinder engines were started using compressed air, and they were each rated at 200 HP. providing power to illuminate 3000, 8 candle lights. He then moved on to explain that the dynamos by which electric current was made involved the rotation of copper wire in proximity of magnets. The current produced was then measured, controlled and regulated before being fed to Ryde, Seaview and standby accumulators, which were, located three miles away. By using accumulators they were able to stop the engines at 11.00 am until dusk the next day [?]. He explained that the accumulators were very expensive pieces of equipment but to keep the generating plant open all day would be very expensive. It was then explained to the visitors how the current was fed by cable from the main switchboard to feeder sub-stations and then to the user. Outside the guests were shown an arrangement by which water used by the engines was cooled and stored for reuse. Mr Wigham also stated that the company were sinking their own well.

At the end of the tour of the new facility the Mayor was asked start the engines among much applause. The Mayor in his speech thanked the company for its hospitality and say everyone had enjoyed the visit and was sure that Ryde would benefit from the new venture, with that, the lights came on much to much to the delight of assembled guests.

Mr Wigham on behalf of the company thanked the Mayor and said he hoped that this would be the beginning of a successful partnership with the people of Ryde he also stated that all the equipment used in the new facility was of 100% British manufacture.

Refreshments were then served to the guests in a room lit by electricity produced in the plant.

Source: Isle of Wight County Press 3rd Oct 1902

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:28

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