Electricity pioneer memorial bid boosted

Electricity pioneer memorial bid boosted Image

THE FUNDING campaign to install a bronze plaque in honour of a local pioneer of electric power has been given a boost.

James Bowman Lindsay will be one of five leading lights commemorated in phase two of the Discovery Walk at Dundee’s waterfront next spring.

And now a leading councillor is backing the funding drive by highlighting the city’s record of embracing electric vehicle use.

Lynne Short convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: β€œWithout the work of James Bowman Lindsay and those creative, curious people who built on his findings we wouldn’t be able to harness electricity the way we can today.

β€œIf Lindsay had taken his research in a different direction, who knows, instead of being named after Nikola Tesla another pioneer of electricity, the leading luxury brand of electric car might be a Lindsay!

β€œEven though he doesn’t have a car named after him yet we’re going to make sure that James Bowman Lindsay’s local connections and innovations are not forgotten with his rightful commemoration in the next phase of the Discovery Walk.

β€œTo help get the money together all you need to do is buy a badge…and then wear it with pride!”

Carmyllie-born Lindsay studied at St Andrews University and later carried out many experiments in Dundee, with his most notable being his investigations into electric light.

In 1835 he gave a successful demonstration at the city’s East Dock of an incandescent lamp that was practical, constant and could be used for reading.

His innovative work on underwater telegraphy was recognised later by his more famous contemporary Michael Faraday and also by radio pioneer Marconi, amongst others.

The campaign for his Discovery Walk plaque has already received support from electric car charging infrastructure firm, Evolt.

Dundee City Council has partnered with Evolt to install a network of charging points for electric vehicles in and around the city.

It will be one of the most concentrated networks of any Scottish city, supported by a range of incentives and projects to encourage EV uptake, such as a free parking scheme, that other cities and local authorities do not currently have.

Dundee City Council now has the largest fleet of electric vehicles of any local authority in the UK (83 to date) and is a past winner of Green Fleet magazine’s public sector fleet of the year and low carbon vehicle operator of the year.

The city has one of the most extensive charging infrastructures in the UK with one of the Rapid Chargers in Queen Street Broughty Ferry being the most used in Scotland, averaging 18 charges per day. The charger at Dundee Ice Arena is the second most used in Scotland.

City council mechanics have been attending dedicated electric vehicle (EV) training courses towards gaining recognised qualifications in the repair and maintenance of EVs to allow the continued expansion of the council’s electric fleet and earlier this year TESLA chose Doubletree Hilton in Dundee to install a strategic charging hub with space for eight of its vehicles.

The council owns 58 charging point at eight publicly available charging locations, including Scotland’s first rapid charger, with work on the new charging hub expected to start soon with it planned to be up and running by the end of the year.

In 2016/17 the council estimates using EVs reduced carbon dioxide by 122 tonnes.

Cllr Short added: β€œDiscovery Walk has already proved to be a fascinating insight for visitors and local people into the world-class pioneers that were born in Dundee or called the city home.

β€œAs well as James Bowman Lindsay phase two will honour postage stamp innovator James Chalmers; inventor and instrument maker George Lowden; x-ray developer Dr George Pirie, and doctor and health reformer Thomas Maclagan.”

Commemorative badges can be bought at Eduardo Alessandro Studios (30 Gray Street, Broughty Ferry), Frameworks Studios (52 Commercial Street, Dundee), The Windsor Gallery (61 Perth Road, Dundee), Dobbies Garden Centre (Monifieth), Groucho’s Record Store (132 Nethergate, Dundee) and Tatha Gallery (1 High Street, Newport-on-Tay).

They are also on line https://goo.gl/BquhVo and all income will go to pay for the production and installation of the new plaques next year.

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