Bringing electricity to Sweden

This morning I woke to weather warnings across the Stockholm area. There was going to be a lot of snow and the roads could be treacherous. Motorists were being warned to slow down. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

At around 7am, the snow started. And it didn’t stop all day. When I went shopping, I walked through a sort of mini blizzard. And I discovered a new source of pleasure. I know there’s plenty of people who don’t like snow. I love it but even more so, I love walking through it when it’s falling.

There’s something wonderfully ethereal about it. Something entirely unlike walking in the rain.

Back at home I settled in to work on research while Mirinda took the girls out on the Duck Walk. When she came home she was as joyful as I had been earlier.

As she settled down to work, I found out some more about the strange little bell tower in Tyresö Graveyard (see yesterday’s post).

The tower is q-marked. This is a designation the same as the UK Grade One listing. It has cultural and historical significance and can not be changed. Basically.

But it’s not q-marked because it is a bell tower. Rather, it is protected because it was originally a transformer station. One of Sweden’s first.

According to Per Forsström, “When the Swedish countryside was electrified during the early 1900s, the transformers for incoming 10 kV to outgoing 380 V was installed in towers built of brick or wood. The towers also contained manual breakers for the power lines.

More photographs and explanations can be found on Tiny Towers by Erkki Saikkonen, a lovely site full of them.

Judging by the photographs on the two sites, I’m thinking most of them are not q-marked. It also made me think that, if Nicktor was here, he’d want to roam the country photographing them all for himself. And, naturally, I’d go with him.

Not that that was all I researched today. Phil at the Surrey History Centre asked me if I’d like to continue an ongoing research project he has involving soldiers who served in the various Surrey Regiments. It makes a big difference from the seemingly endless Epsom memorials, so I jumped at the opportunity for change.

And, speaking of the First World War, I also attended a WFA webinar tonight; the first for ages. It was titled Murphy’s Law on the Somme and was presented by Andrew Rawson.

Ironically, for the past 48 hours, anything that could go wrong, did go wrong for poor Andrew. He got sick (not the Plague), then his PC started chucking a wobbly, forcing him to drive further than he wanted to through the snow, to a friend’s house in order to use his PC.

For reasons not entirely explained, his friend’s PC wouldn’t load the PowerPoint presentation, so we had Andrew reading his notes and the above slide throughout. This caused a flurry of questions in the Q&A box asking if Andrew knew the slides weren’t working.

Still, the webinar attempted to put into context the problems with planning and strategy during the Somme. Andrew researched the various mistakes (and some successes) because he was tired of always reading that a certain plan was initiated but, whatever the result, was only reported as failed or succeeded. Very annoying, he said.

Before the webinar, we took our usual constitutional with the girls. The world looked truly magical, almost Narnia-esque, as the light slowly vanished from the sky. It marked the end of a beautiful day.

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