I have only just got around to translating (with computer aids) the words on a memorial stone which I photographed at Vindeln, Sweden, last September.
The translation is (roughly): ‘In memory of local volunteers who actively contributed to the government’s announcement, on 1 April 1970, that it would not permit the development of the Vindelälven [the river which flows through Vindeln]’.
There was a battle to prevent a giant dam from being constructed across the Laisälven about seven miles from the border with Norway and 11 miles above its junction with Vindelälven. The reservoir would have submerged the village of Adolfström. The plan was to use the river for hydropower, in common with so many other rivers in Sweden.
There was a vigorous campaign against this, and on 1 April 1970 Prime Minister Olof Palme announced that dam would not be built. The stone celebrates the campaigners’ achievement. (The story is told here.)
Vindeln is where we stopped for lunch on our field trip on the International Association for the Study of the Commons’ European conference. The river rushes freely and unconstrained, thanks to the campaigners’ efforts. This is a popular tourist spot (which it might not have been if the river had been dammed).
It was good to see people exercising their traditional freedom to roam, allemansrätten, in the autumn sun.
The battle to stop the dam was being fought at the same time as the Dartmoor campaign against the Swincombe reservoir, which was won eight months later, on 3 December 1970. Both schemes were rejected by parliament.