Pollock Sawmill 

Saving Pollock Sawmill with a Micro-Hydro Electric Scheme was the topic of the talk by Gordon Black at a recent meeting of Largs PROBUS Club. Gordon reported that the former 1860 sawmill located in Pollock Country Park, a ‘B’ listed building, was currently classed as being ‘At Risk’ in the ‘Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland’. The proposed micro-hydro electric scheme would not only save the building but the generated electricity could be used to power nearby properties, such as Pollock House or the Burrell Collection. He explained hydrology the water source and gave the history of the sawmill which originally had a wooden water wheel to drive equipment such as bench saws and lathes, much of which survives. However, this was replaced in the late 19th Century with vertical axis turbines which generated electricity before closing in 1960. A feasibility study undertaken in 2013 determined that it would be viable to replace the existing turbines by a micro-hydro electric scheme, providing both financial and carbon savings. Gordon advised that the scheme was progressing with two micro turbines currently being manufactured in Birkenhead.

In proposing the vote of thanks, Norrie Hollywood thanked Gordon for a fascinating talk and referred to his own involvement in evaluating a hydro scheme for the South of Isla.

The next meeting of the club will be on 27th September in the Willowbank Hotel at 10am when members Jim Canning and Christopher Hoult will speak along with guest Linda Young, who will speak on activities and well-being at Haylie House. Men over the age of 50 who are retired, or nearing retirement, are welcome to join the Club by completing our Contact Form.