Electric Brae

Recently I have been telling guests about a little known place of interest near Tory Bush, if that not an oxymoron.

This place is an Electric Brae a hill at which Newton’s discovery of the Law of Gravity is defied, basically a parked car with it’s handbrake off appears to run backwards uphill.  I am uncomfortable with the term Electric Brae;  it comes from  hill in Scotland, near Ayr, where the same phenomena is observed. Brae is a Scottish word for hill not in common usage here and Electric because the effect was initially thought to be an Electric or Magnetic attraction or repulsion from the surrounding hill or in the case of the site near Tory Bush a large reservoir.  Just visualise how two magnets repel each other.


However in lieu of a better term I am stuck with Electric Brae. The location near Tory Bush is at Spelga Dam in the Mournes, if you have an Ordnance Survey Map then the Grid reference is 265 275, and I will attempt to give directions from Tory Bush as follows. Leave Tory Bush by turning right on to the Tullyree Road proceed to re-join the B180, the main road between Bryansford and Hilltown, at the junction turn right onto the B180 heading towards Hilltown and travel about half a mile to take the second left, the Slievenaman Road. Travel about 4 mile up the Slievenaman road climbing all the way, as you travel up you will pass Fofanny Dam on the left and in front of it the new underground water treatment plant which should only be visible by looking backwards when you just past the entrance and you should see the rear doors down below the road.  On the right just opposite the dam wall you will see the massive land-slip on the slope of Butter Mountain that occurred on the day of the heavy rain in August 08, the same day the under-pass in Belfast flooded.


The road will level out and down to the right you will see Spelga Dam and a road that swings down to Hilltown, take this road down past the dam. On your left will be some car-parking spaces and on the right a toilet block, drive past the dam wall and start to decline what is known as the Spelga Hill Climb  an alpine like zigzag road, but don’t go far.  Just beyond what must have been a dam-workers house there is a little road into the left driving straight towards the dam itself, and at the end of which is two gates into the grounds in front of the Dam. Park in front of the gates and put your car out of gear and the hand brake off and see what happens. The road has recently been tarmacked so the phenomena should be more apparent, previously you used to get stuck in a pot hole.


Hopefully your car will appear to run back up the slope of this little private road. It can be appreciated why some thought it was a magnetic effect with it being attributed to a magnetic repulsion caused by the large body of water behind the Dam Wall.


Presently I will leave it to you all to come up with an explanation I have my own theory and it involves the use of a spirit level.

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