Behind the doors of an electricity substation

I’ve just been clearing out my photo files and found these! Three years ago, I got in touch with Southern Electric. At that time, I was researching ELECTRIGIRL and had decided that the heroine, Holly, would get her powers whilst hiding (from bullies) in a substation. The engineer who showed me round was called David, and he’d been working as an electrical engineer for YEARS. To my absolute delight, he not only explained how power got to the huge station where they all worked, but he took me out in his van and let me into those buildings with the yellow stickers that say DANGER OF DEATH on them!!

Of course, I can’t now remember half of what he told me, but I finished that day with the conviction that setting Holly’s transformation in a substation was a REALLY bad idea. Not least because David was dead set against it! It was a fascinating morning though, and just shows one of the perks of being a writer – getting to nose around stuff that you otherwise just wouldn’t get a chance to see!

Outside the medium-sized substation, on a residential road in Oxfordshire
Inside the building – the ‘busboards’
I think these were the old busboards, no longer in use but still in the building
More defunct machines, I think
A very functional transformer, where huge amounts of volts are carefully converted into smaller parcels and divided into separate cables
The inside of a ‘dead’ fuse. These fuses are quite a lot bigger than the ones in domestic plugs!



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