Bridgwater’s Electricity Supply

The Bridgwater and District Electric Supply and Traction Company Building in Mount Street. Taken November 2022.

In this article, Tony Woolrich outlines the history of the town’s Electricity Supply.


  • 1896 Bridgwater Town Council investigate electric lighting scheme
  • 1899 Bridgwater Town Council recommended to proceed with electric lighting scheme, and a Provisional Order obtained.
  • 1900 Public Inquiry into application for loan from Local Government Board for funds for electricity scheme, “Anti-electricity scheme” councillors returned at election.
  • 1901 Municipal electric scheme abandoned.
  • 1902 Bridgwater & District Electric Supply & Traction Co formed.
  • 1903 Provisional order granted.
  • 1904 Electricity works foundation stone laid, Mr Walker appointed as company Engineer & Secretary, Nos 1 & 2 gas engine sets installed, supply commenced.
  • 1911 No 3 diesel set installed.
  • 1921 Nos 4 & 5 gas engine sets installed.
  • 1923 No 6 gas engine set installed.
  • 1928 Company supply area extended to cover whole of Bridgwater Rural District.
  • 1930 No 7 diesel set installed. System extended to Huntspill, Pawlett, North Petherton, Cannington, Woolavington, Cossington, Chilton Polden, Shapwick and Ashcott.
  • 1933 System extended to Nether Stowey and Spaxton.
  • 1934 Connection made to Central Electricity Board Grid. Generation ceased.
  • 1937 First electric street-lighting, Cornhill.
  • 1938 System extended to North Newton and Thurloxton.
  • 1939 System extended to Lyng and Durston.
  • 1948 Nationalisation, Mr H Walker retired, South Western Electric Board formed.

Also see pages on the town’s other utility systems. For an overview of the UK’s overall development, see here.

Example Electricity Bill and Receipt 1938