Did you experience Scotland’s hydro revolution? SSE wants to hear your story

Construction work on Pitlochry’s newest visitor attraction is progressing well. The new £4m visitor centre at Pitlochry dam and power station is on course to be opened this autumn.

Part of the user experience SSE is trying to create will involve hearing the stories of those who lived through Scotland’s hydro revolution. 

SSE Head of Heritage, Gillian O’Reilly, is responsible for the operation of the new attractions and is keen to track down anyone who would like to share their memories from the early hydro days. 

“The new visitor centre is very important to us because SSE’s history is Scotland’s history. Hydro electricity improved the lives of ordinary people living in the north of Scotland and we are really interested to hear from the people who experienced it first hand.”

“If you worked on the schemes during the 1940s, 50s or 60s or if you lived in a community near a construction project or a worker's camp, I would love to hear from you. I’d also be keen to hear people’s accounts on how their work or home life changed as a result of better access to electricity during these times. To share your stories please email me at heritage@sse.com or call 01796 472 176.” 

SSE’s new free to visit centre will house a 60 seat café, retail area, and a multi-space area for educational use. The main exhibition space will showcase accounts from the engineers who worked to bring hydro power to Scotland over 70 years ago. There will also be a film chronicling the construction of the hydro schemes in the Scottish Highlands and the impacts they had on local daily life. 

Situated at the end of the Tummel valley, the picturesque Pitlochry Dam is already a major tourist attraction, with an estimated 500,000 visitors crossing it each year. It also boasts a popular fish ladder and the scenic beauty of Loch Faskally.

SSE has also converted the former visitor centre in Pitlochry into a corporate archive, open to the general public by appointment, which will store many historical blueprints, speeches and artefacts.