The Old Blackstone Power Station
The Old Blackstone Power Station, which supplied the town with power until 1984, is open to visitors. A key to this facility is available at the Baviaans Tourism Office on the main Road. Tel: 044 923 1702
Willowmore first started generating electricity in 1938. In the building of the old power station are six Lister Blackstone diesel generators, the largest of which is still in working condition.
When the last generator set was installed, it was necessary to lengthen the building. The entire west wall was removed and the building extended to accommodate the additional machine. Diesel was transported in 44-gallon metal drums to Willowmore. Later, two large metal storage tanks were mounted on the ground towards the eastern section of the power station. Diesel was then pumped through the pipeline from the diesel truck at the station into these storage tanks.
These Blackstones were shipped from England and then came to Willowmore by rail from Cape Town. When the delivery of the machines took place, no suitable crane was available to assist with offloading. Local staff dug a long pit, with a ramp at one end, so the truck could be reversed in, with the load bed at normal ground level. The crated machinery was then rolled off with the assistance of a number of steel pipes and manually pushed and shoved into position.