When Electricity came to Brea
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    Brea Chapel drawn by Steve Jones and reproduced here with his permission.
      
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Below is an extract from an old Brea Church Magazine.
Written by Bob Stoddern. Chapel Steward for many years.
I have tried to retain the character and format of the original page.
brief explanation of pre-decimal currency

WHEN ELECTRICITY CAME TO BREA
On February the 8th 1929, Mr H.Thomas (Trustee) approached the Urban Electric Supply Company Limited (Known today as the South Western Electric P L C) regarding the cost of electric supply to the United Methodist Chapel (as it was then named). On the 8th March a reply was received stating the cost along with a suggestion of electric fittings etc. There being no supply in the village at this time it was suggested that an overhead cable could be taken from tin streams at Sandy-Moor owned by the brothers J & P Rodda.
A small transformer to be installed in the Sunday School to reduce the pressure from 440 volts to 240 volts was required. The complete cost of the installation was £57.15.0. and payment could be spread over three years in twelve quarterly payments of £5.3.6. For this princely sum, the chapel could have the following:
SCHOOLROOM 3 lights 2 switches
CHAPEL FROM CEILING 6 lights 2 switches
CHAPEL UNDER GALLERY 2 lights 1 switch
LOBBY 1 light 1 switch
OUTSIDE OVER DOOR 1 light 1 switch
With regards to the cost of working, current would be supplied at 10d per unit with a rent of 3/- per quarter for the meter. If we allow, an average of 2 hours per service for 30 weeks in the year and add 20 hours for special services on week evenings, the total cost for the chapel only would be (80 hours x 7½d) = £2.10.0. per annum. The three lights in the school room when used would cost about l½d per hour.
In response to this reply the Chapel Trustees agreed to have electricity installed and by autumn of 1929 the Chapel was fully illuminated. What a sight it must have been in those days, the buildings in the village having only paraffin lamps or candles for light. The Chapel must have resembled the lights of the titanic liner perched there on the hill, bearing witness to Christian presence in the village. Passengers travelling by train would see a blaze of light coming from the Chapel surrounded by a faint glow from the cottages, shops and the Brea Inn.
In the following year plans were made for the installation of an electric blowing apparatus to the Chapel organ. The cost for this amounted to £45 but this project was put to one side until 14th February 1946 when the cost was £76.
In 1937 the Cornwall Electric Power Co. supplied electric to the village

For many years before "decimalisation" in 1971 we used pounds shillings and pence:- £ s d.
There were 12 pence to a shilling and 20 shillings to a pound.

The pound sign £ is dervied from L for the latin libre
the s for shillings from the latin solidus and
the d for penny, or pence (the plural), from the latin denarious.

So the 10d per unit for electricity is very close to 4p per unit in modern currency.
With electricity today at close to 6p per unit you can see it was rather expensive in 1829

The 3/- for meter rental means 3 shillings which is equivalent to 15p

£2 10s 0d estimated annual cost in todays money is £2-50p

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