110 volts and all that

1941 pattern searchlight

           The Arlingham Lectric Lamp Supply Company.


Everyone takes the supply of electricity to be a common utility but BUT up until about 1954 Priding, Overton and the whole of Arlingham was not on the mains electricity network.

In Arlingham was marvellous alternative which people joke about and ridicule but laugh as you may  parts of the village had power and reasonable lighting for many years before the Midlands Electricity Board condescended to bring mains electric to the area..

My Uncle,  Bernard Shaw had worked for the Stroud Electric Supply Company before they merged with the Midlands Electricity Board so had a good grounding in Electrical Supply.  When he married and moved into Greenfield in Church Road he provided himself with a generator adequate to power his own home and a bit more.  It was not long before he put a pair of wires over the fence and supplied one, then two, then more and more neighbours.

This grew and grew and I am unsure of the  final extent of the network but Arlingham Church and Chapel the Red Lion and  The Shop all had lighting as well as one street lamp which vanished when the MEB took over the supply.

There was a major downside to all of this. The cost and technology to store power was just not on and no one wanted to listen to a diesel generator running all night in the middle of the village…so ten’ o’clock and Bernard is going to bed…power off…Goodnight All,.... Sleep Tight.