ELECTRICITY SUPPLY AND STREET LIGHTING.
The first reference in the minutes of the Council to an electricity supply appears in November, 1910, and from that date onwards there is ample evidence in the minutes of the growing rivalry between gas and electricity. In 1919 the Council purchased the electricity undertaking of the Rhymney Valley and General Electric Supply Company Ltd., which at that time had 250 consumers. The Council immediately began extending the undertaking and by 1924 the number of consumers had increased to 1,322. The undertaking continued to expand, until, by 1948, when it was nationalised, there were about 8,000 consumers and mains services were available throughout the area.
During 1887 gas street lighting was installed in Rhymney
By 1885, there were 10 paraffin street lights in Fochriw and a Mr Jones was awarded the contract for their lighting at £2.4s.6d per lamp per annum. However, it would appear that only 2 to 3 of the lamps were being lit which prompted a letter to the local newspapers concerning this poor state of affairs. A response on 31 October 1885, by Mr Jones, advised that the fault was with the case in which the paraffin lamps were placed in that, owing to a larger draft space than was necessary, the lamps were continuosly being blown out despite numerous attempts to relight them during the night. However, during September 1889, it would appear that the number of street lamps had reduced to three, since Mr Jones was awarded the contract for 14s per annum.
During August 1912 the electricity company stated that it would be impractical to supply Fochriw with electricity because of its distance from a power station and the relatively small number of households that would install a supply. However, by July 1914, the Bill confirming the provision order in respect to the electric lighting at Fochriw and Bedlinog was sent for a third reading in the House of Lords.
April 1917 saw the Fochriw Lodge of the Miner’s Federation write to Gelligaer Council regarding the deplorable situation with regard to street lighting in the village, the number of lamps being reduced to one.
During March 1921, the installation of the power lines was underway but it was not until late August 1921 that the electricity supply was switched on. Penybanc was connected to the electricity supply during the last week of October 1930
Due to the elevated location of the village many power outages were experienced one typical occurrence being during March 1940 and a storm in January of that year left the village without telephone communication, a situation that had not been rectified some 6 weeks late.