Bath’s Feminist Mayoress remembered

The plaque on the turbo-generators.

The plaque on the turbo-generators. Click on images to enlarge.

A brass plaque which was attached to steam turbines used to generate electricity for Bath has been donated to the Museum of Bath at Work.

The plaque records the starting of the steam turbo-generators at the Dorchester Street electricity works in February 1927.

At the time, the Mayoress was Sarah Grand, who shared duties with the Mayor of Bath Cedric Chivers – who was a widower – and on the plaque is recorded as Madam Sarah Grand.

Madam Sarah Grand, Mayoress of Bath, 1925 © Bath in Time - Bath Central Library Collection

Madam Sarah Grand, Mayoress of Bath, 1925
© Bath in Time – Bath Central Library Collection

The plaque disappeared when the electricity generating station, which opened in 1890, closed in 1966 and was thought lost.

The turbo-generators installed at Dorchester Street replaced antiquated steam engines and enabled a greater network of AC electricity to be supplied over the entire city region.

The turbo generators photographed in 1950.

The turbo-generators photographed in 1950.

The generating station was demolished in 1967 and its site is now occupied by the bus station.

Sarah Grand was born Frances Clark and became a famous feminist writer and commentator at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

Her two most famous and most popular books – The Beth Book and the Heavenly Twins- were both published before 1900.

After much travelling and some controversy Sarah Grand moved to Bath in 1920 and became Mayoress six times until she moved to Calne, where she died in 1943.