I have revised the post on All Souls’ Day. If you follow the link you will read about ‘Souling’, Purgatory, and English, Mexican and Polish Customs for 2nd November.
But this post is prompted by an interesting article in the Guardian about the Dinorwig Power Station in North Wales. It’s a place I visit regularly. The photograph is from a Medieval Welsh Castle, Dobaldarn Castle, near the National Slate Museum in the new Unesco World Heritage Site of the Slate Landscape of North West Wales. The photo above gives an idea of the majesty of the destructive power of quarrying for slate.
The Power Station is remarkable. It is a huge cavern in the mountain. When the National Grid has a lot of cheap energy, water is pumped to the top, and when electricity is in short supply, the water runs turbines to provide extra power. It is, in effect, a giant battery, and what makes it even more worthy of a part in a James Bond film is that it has the capability of initiating a Black Start to the Grid. If some cosmic catastrophe turns off the entire grid, Dinorwig can restart the Grid.
The article in the Guardian has some great pictures of it and the text is very interesting. You might want to start reading a third of the way down the article which has a long preamble.
On the 10th April 2023, Heritage England announced on its webpage, that they had listed a Bank which contained the world’s first ATM Machine. Barclays Bank choose its Enfield Branch for this honour which opened on 27th June 1967. Above, you will see local celebrity, Reg Varney (in hat), a star of a very popular and ‘corny’ sitcom called ‘On the Buses.’ opening the new machine. It miraculously delivered a £10 note without any human intervention, and offered access to money after banking hours.
Barclay’s had previously launched the UK’s first credit card, and selected Enfield to be the place where they launched an automatic machine to dispense money – nicknamed ‘money machines’ in the UK. The customer was issued a ‘punched card’ and had to enter a PIN for the magic to be initiated. Barclays were developing the idea of a magnetic strip on a card at the same time.
The building, which has a plaque and a gold-painted modern ATM, is Grade II listed and so should be protected from development in future. The building itself is an interesting, almost typical, late Victorian red brick commercial building, with fine details in the Flemish Renaissance style by William Gilbee Scott. Scott lived in Enfield.
I look forward to visiting it on my next visit to Enfield Lock on my narrow boat Mrs Towser.