Book chronicles Scotland’s hydro industry

Gonna O’Donnell, 82 and his older brother Denis, 86, from County Donegal in Ireland, two of the original ‘Tunnel Tigers’ who worked on the building of Scotland’s hydro system in the 1940s and 1950s explain some of the pictures reproduced in the book to Gregor Alexander, finance director of SSE. Photograph: Stuart Nicol

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In a poignant tribute to the engineers whose bravery helped build Scotland’s vast array of hydro power stations, SSE has released a new publication of Power from the Glens – a more definitive fourth edition.

Building on SSE’s hydro heritage, and to celebrate 75 years since The Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act 1943, the book tells the story of how electricity was brought to the Highlands of Scotland for the first time.

Combining a healthy balance of storytelling and imagery, the title includes a range of modern photography along with a portfolio of early sketches and drawings – never been seen before – which were used to garner public and planning support.

Gregor Alexander, SSE’s finance director, said: ‘SSE is very proud of its hydro heritage and we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who helped create our network of tunnels, dams and hydro stations. This is a key chapter in Scotland’s social and engineering history and we felt we had a duty to tell that story.’

Gillian O’Reilly, head of heritage for SSE, is delighted the book has been published and said: ‘It is a fitting and lasting tribute to those who built the dams and now future generations can come to our stunning visitor centre at Pitlochry and buy the book of our hydro story for themselves.’

The book is priced at £14 and is on sale from SSE’s Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre and via an online portal