The discovery of electricity by Michael Faraday in 1820 led to the development of the filament bulb by Joseph Swan in 1878. Although initially of low candlepower, the bulb was soon improved and introduced an efficient use of lighting for domestic and industrial buildings. This new form of illumination was bright, clean, safe, and instantaneous compared to gas lighting that was in general use at the time. In 1879, experimental incandescent electric lamps were installed along the Embankment in London but this new form of street lighting was not generally introduced into the city until the late 1880s.
The need for the world to use renewable energy to meet the demand for electricity during the 21st century is apparent. Development of wind, wave, and solar power is crucial to help conserve the world’s resources and reduce global warming. However, the power issued by some of these elements is not constant. In particular, the large structure and propeller noise of wind installations intrude on Britain’s decreasing rural environment and power output is unreliable due to variable wind speeds.
At approximately 1830 hours on the evening of January 12th.1899, a distress call was received in Lynmouth indicating that the 1900 ton, three masted, fully rigged vessel, the Forrest Hall was foundering off Porlock. One of the severest storms ever, it was the night that the Woody Bay pier was destroyed, was being experienced in the Bristol Channel and it was quickly ascertained that it would be impossible to launch the Lynmouth lifeboat, the Louisa in Lynmouth.
The date is etched upon the minds of many North Devon folk, especially those who were in the picturesque village of Lynmouth. After a day of torrential rain the West and East Lyn rivers crushed many homes with devastating consequences and significant loss of life.