The Power of Southwick explored at Manor  Cottage Heritage Centre

​The Southwick Society is set to open Manor Cottage for the summer season and its first exhibition will be The Power of Southwick, about the history of its first two power stations.

Southwick has been generating electricity since 1905 and the current power station is the third one to be built in the harbour.

The first power station in Southwick was begun in 1902, when Brighton Corporation decided it needed to expand on the electricity production from the North Road power station.

Southwick canal was chosen because of its proximity to the sea. Sea water could be used to cool the boilers and coal could be shipped down from Newcastle directly to the power station.

Southwick Power Station opened in September 1905 with six boilers powering three turbines. Five trunk mains, each 4.75 miles long, fed the electricity to a substation in North Road. From there it went out to customers.

Over the next 30 years, as demand grew for this exciting new technology, Southwick Power Station underwent many extensions, replacements and additions until in 1969 there were 12 boilers and six turbines.

After World War Two, work began on a second power station and for many years, the two stations worked side by side until Brighton A, as Southwick Power Station had been renamed, was completely closed in 1976.

Brighton B was closed only 12 years later and electricity wasn’t produced again in Southwick until our third power station opened in 2000.

The Southwick Society is holding an exhibition about the history of the three power stations. It includes lots of photographs charting the rise and fall of the stations since 1902 and of the people who worked there.

The exhibition runs from 10.30am to 12.30pm every Saturday from May 25 to July 6 in the Manor Cottage Heritage Centre, Southwick Street, Southwick. Admission is free.

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