Power cut repair lasted just two hours ruining festive meals in Bishopstoke

Daily Echo: Anne-Marie Buckingham has been without power over Christmas. Anne-Marie Buckingham has been without power over Christmas.

CHRISTMAS lunch was ruined for families on a storm-hit Hampshire road when electricity cruelly came on for just two hours.

Food that had bee Thousands of Hampshire homes have been without power over Christmas due to the flooding and ferocious storms that have lashed the county in recent days.

But some families in Bishopstoke, near Eastleigh, whose homes were plunged into darkness on Monday night, thought they had been saved when electricity sparked back to life at 3pm on Christmas Day.

Their joy was short-lived though, and just two hours later it was off again, with some reporting how their half-cooked Christmas dinners had to be chucked away. The blackout has remained ever since, and electricity bosses have apologised.

Anne-Marie Buckingham, of Stoke Common Road, Bishopstoke, said: “It’s just been the most rubbish Christmas. We were going to celebrate Christmas Day here but it’s been so cold and we only have a coal fire to keep us warm so we have been living in our lounge.

“At 9am on Christmas Day we just gave up and went to my brother’s place in Woolston. No one wants to be uprooted on Christmas Day and I have two teenage daughters who don’t understand why we can’t get the power back.

“We can’t even have showers and we’ve been lucky that one of our neighbours has kindly let us use theirs. I’ve been taking my washing to my in-laws too; this has just completely messed up everything.”

Meanwhile neighbours Richard and Linda Webster (below) saw their Christmas lamb go to waste after rushing to get it ready when the power briefly came back on.

Daily Echo:

Mr Webster said: “It was such a big waste. We still have gas hobs so we ended up trading lamb for mashed potato and ham. We had my sister Janice round and we managed to all have a laugh eating dinner by candlelight, but it’s completely disrupted Christmas.”

Ridiculous To make matters worse, the majority of homes in the road have still got power, leading the unlucky few to question why they have been affected.

Mr Webster, 70, a retired carpenter said: “I just don’t understand why it’s only a few houses without power. It doesn’t make any sense and we don’t even know if Southern Electric (SSE) is aware our power is down. It’s just ridiculous.

“If we were all off then fine, but we are not, and there are even streetlights still on. It’s this uncertainty that is the worst thing. Why us and when are we getting power back?”

Daily Echo:

Neighbour Robin Meadham (above) said he had been kept on hold for an hour and 20 minutes after calling SSE only to be told he would have to wait for an automated update.

Mr Meadham, 52, a structural engineer, said: “There must be some sort of system to an electrical grid that means you don’t have some houses off and some on. There’s no logic to it.

“It’s just not fair. My Christmas dinner was ruined after the power went on and off and I had to throw some roast beef away. There is just no rhyme or reason when you can have power for two-and-a-half hours and then lose it again.”

He added: “I rang them to make sure they knew we were in this situation and I get told to wait for an update. Where is their duty of care? They told me to email them but how am I supposed to do that?”

The houses affected are among the 1,500 or so properties that remained without power last night across the county – including 135 homes in the New Forest.

An SSE spokesman apologised for the loss of supply and said engineers had “worked tirelessly throughout the Christmas period” to reconnect electricity.

The spokesman said: “We’ve done all we could to keep waiting times down during this time, including drafting extra staff into our call centres and posting regular updates on our website and social media. However, unfortunately the lines have been very busy and waiting times have been much higher than usual.

“We know this can be frustrating and are very grateful to customers for their patience.”

He added: “The way the electricity distribution network is made up means that faults can be isolated and power redirected via other routes to minimise the number of homes affected by power cuts.

“This can mean some homes have their power on while others on the same street do not.

“While the only way to restore supplies for everyone is to find and fix the fault, this does enable us to keep power on for a much higher number of customers than would otherwise be the case.”

SSE is also offering to reimburse customers for the cost of a hot meal while their power is out.

Comments (11)

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7:41pm Sat 28 Dec 13

eurogordi says...

Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity.

I do not believe SSE should be offering any compensation for what was totally beyond the company's control.

Yes, people might have felt cold (put on extra clothes), but no one went hungry and I'm not aware of anyone dying in this part of the UK.

We really need to bring back the "make do and mend" attitude of a former generation.
Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity. I do not believe SSE should be offering any compensation for what was totally beyond the company's control. Yes, people might have felt cold (put on extra clothes), but no one went hungry and I'm not aware of anyone dying in this part of the UK. We really need to bring back the "make do and mend" attitude of a former generation. eurogordi

8:04pm Sat 28 Dec 13

Charlie Bucket says...

eurogordi wrote:
Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity.

I do not believe SSE should be offering any compensation for what was totally beyond the company's control.

Yes, people might have felt cold (put on extra clothes), but no one went hungry and I'm not aware of anyone dying in this part of the UK.

We really need to bring back the "make do and mend" attitude of a former generation.
Agreed. And quite why 2 teenagers can't grasp the concept of "power cut" is beyond me.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity. I do not believe SSE should be offering any compensation for what was totally beyond the company's control. Yes, people might have felt cold (put on extra clothes), but no one went hungry and I'm not aware of anyone dying in this part of the UK. We really need to bring back the "make do and mend" attitude of a former generation.[/p][/quote]Agreed. And quite why 2 teenagers can't grasp the concept of "power cut" is beyond me. Charlie Bucket

8:39pm Sat 28 Dec 13

76Saints says...

eurogordi wrote:
Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity.

I do not believe SSE should be offering any compensation for what was totally beyond the company's control.

Yes, people might have felt cold (put on extra clothes), but no one went hungry and I'm not aware of anyone dying in this part of the UK.

We really need to bring back the "make do and mend" attitude of a former generation.
I take it you neve lost your electricity at all then, so hopefully you had an enjoyable Christmas. My family and I, and thousands of other people never had that pleasure, Agreed that we should all revert back to old values, but when everybody's has been extortionately charged for privilege of having the electricity then they have the right to complain, whether you like it or not. Have a heart, Not a nerve.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity. I do not believe SSE should be offering any compensation for what was totally beyond the company's control. Yes, people might have felt cold (put on extra clothes), but no one went hungry and I'm not aware of anyone dying in this part of the UK. We really need to bring back the "make do and mend" attitude of a former generation.[/p][/quote]I take it you neve lost your electricity at all then, so hopefully you had an enjoyable Christmas. My family and I, and thousands of other people never had that pleasure, Agreed that we should all revert back to old values, but when everybody's has been extortionately charged for privilege of having the electricity then they have the right to complain, whether you like it or not. Have a heart, Not a nerve. 76Saints

9:10pm Sat 28 Dec 13

eurogordi says...

76Saints wrote:
eurogordi wrote:
Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity.

I do not believe SSE should be offering any compensation for what was totally beyond the company's control.

Yes, people might have felt cold (put on extra clothes), but no one went hungry and I'm not aware of anyone dying in this part of the UK.

We really need to bring back the "make do and mend" attitude of a former generation.
I take it you neve lost your electricity at all then, so hopefully you had an enjoyable Christmas. My family and I, and thousands of other people never had that pleasure, Agreed that we should all revert back to old values, but when everybody's has been extortionately charged for privilege of having the electricity then they have the right to complain, whether you like it or not. Have a heart, Not a nerve.
As I said, Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity.

Energy prices are the fault of governments failing to control the industry and NOT the engineers who have been struggling against the odds to restore power AND give up their own Christmas (there are several SSE engineers in my family who didn't have an "enjoyable" Christmas either).

Complain to your politicians by all means, but not the majority of SSE and other energy company staff. And, as you say, having electricity is a "privilege" and NOT a right. Are you old enough to remember the black outs of the seventies? We have become too comfortable in our modern lifestyles and do not like it when things do not go our way.

And although everyone has to pay standing charges to the energy companies, you did not pay for the electricity you did not use over Christmas. I am sure you will say that this is heartless, but what is more important? Family, friends and being alive or going without electricity for a few days?

Heartless I am not, but age and experience has taught me that there are far more important things in life.
[quote][p][bold]76Saints[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity. I do not believe SSE should be offering any compensation for what was totally beyond the company's control. Yes, people might have felt cold (put on extra clothes), but no one went hungry and I'm not aware of anyone dying in this part of the UK. We really need to bring back the "make do and mend" attitude of a former generation.[/p][/quote]I take it you neve lost your electricity at all then, so hopefully you had an enjoyable Christmas. My family and I, and thousands of other people never had that pleasure, Agreed that we should all revert back to old values, but when everybody's has been extortionately charged for privilege of having the electricity then they have the right to complain, whether you like it or not. Have a heart, Not a nerve.[/p][/quote]As I said, Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity. Energy prices are the fault of governments failing to control the industry and NOT the engineers who have been struggling against the odds to restore power AND give up their own Christmas (there are several SSE engineers in my family who didn't have an "enjoyable" Christmas either). Complain to your politicians by all means, but not the majority of SSE and other energy company staff. And, as you say, having electricity is a "privilege" and NOT a right. Are you old enough to remember the black outs of the seventies? We have become too comfortable in our modern lifestyles and do not like it when things do not go our way. And although everyone has to pay standing charges to the energy companies, you did not pay for the electricity you did not use over Christmas. I am sure you will say that this is heartless, but what is more important? Family, friends and being alive or going without electricity for a few days? Heartless I am not, but age and experience has taught me that there are far more important things in life. eurogordi

9:50pm Sat 28 Dec 13

76Saints says...

eurogordi wrote:
76Saints wrote:
eurogordi wrote:
Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity.

I do not believe SSE should be offering any compensation for what was totally beyond the company's control.

Yes, people might have felt cold (put on extra clothes), but no one went hungry and I'm not aware of anyone dying in this part of the UK.

We really need to bring back the "make do and mend" attitude of a former generation.
I take it you neve lost your electricity at all then, so hopefully you had an enjoyable Christmas. My family and I, and thousands of other people never had that pleasure, Agreed that we should all revert back to old values, but when everybody's has been extortionately charged for privilege of having the electricity then they have the right to complain, whether you like it or not. Have a heart, Not a nerve.
As I said, Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity.

Energy prices are the fault of governments failing to control the industry and NOT the engineers who have been struggling against the odds to restore power AND give up their own Christmas (there are several SSE engineers in my family who didn't have an "enjoyable" Christmas either).

Complain to your politicians by all means, but not the majority of SSE and other energy company staff. And, as you say, having electricity is a "privilege" and NOT a right. Are you old enough to remember the black outs of the seventies? We have become too comfortable in our modern lifestyles and do not like it when things do not go our way.

And although everyone has to pay standing charges to the energy companies, you did not pay for the electricity you did not use over Christmas. I am sure you will say that this is heartless, but what is more important? Family, friends and being alive or going without electricity for a few days?

Heartless I am not, but age and experience has taught me that there are far more important things in life.
I Totally agree with most of your sentiments, Please pass on ALL OUR THANKS to those SSE members of your family, obviously we are indebted to them and their colleagues, I am total admiration of all the hardship they have endured recently, but they will be paid handsomely for their suffering, then so should we, for the outlay that most people have spent for the occasion. Yes I do remember the Power Strikes of the seventies which seemed never ending, and yes this is the first time since then that the power cuts have been this severe, most intelligent people know it is not the Electricity providers fault or that of their staff, whom I am sure still are under extreme pressure. But times have changed these power cuts in this time and age should not happen, if more investments had been made from the high bills they collected rather than giving extra profit to the shareholders.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]76Saints[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity. I do not believe SSE should be offering any compensation for what was totally beyond the company's control. Yes, people might have felt cold (put on extra clothes), but no one went hungry and I'm not aware of anyone dying in this part of the UK. We really need to bring back the "make do and mend" attitude of a former generation.[/p][/quote]I take it you neve lost your electricity at all then, so hopefully you had an enjoyable Christmas. My family and I, and thousands of other people never had that pleasure, Agreed that we should all revert back to old values, but when everybody's has been extortionately charged for privilege of having the electricity then they have the right to complain, whether you like it or not. Have a heart, Not a nerve.[/p][/quote]As I said, Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity. Energy prices are the fault of governments failing to control the industry and NOT the engineers who have been struggling against the odds to restore power AND give up their own Christmas (there are several SSE engineers in my family who didn't have an "enjoyable" Christmas either). Complain to your politicians by all means, but not the majority of SSE and other energy company staff. And, as you say, having electricity is a "privilege" and NOT a right. Are you old enough to remember the black outs of the seventies? We have become too comfortable in our modern lifestyles and do not like it when things do not go our way. And although everyone has to pay standing charges to the energy companies, you did not pay for the electricity you did not use over Christmas. I am sure you will say that this is heartless, but what is more important? Family, friends and being alive or going without electricity for a few days? Heartless I am not, but age and experience has taught me that there are far more important things in life.[/p][/quote]I Totally agree with most of your sentiments, Please pass on ALL OUR THANKS to those SSE members of your family, obviously we are indebted to them and their colleagues, I am total admiration of all the hardship they have endured recently, but they will be paid handsomely for their suffering, then so should we, for the outlay that most people have spent for the occasion. Yes I do remember the Power Strikes of the seventies which seemed never ending, and yes this is the first time since then that the power cuts have been this severe, most intelligent people know it is not the Electricity providers fault or that of their staff, whom I am sure still are under extreme pressure. But times have changed these power cuts in this time and age should not happen, if more investments had been made from the high bills they collected rather than giving extra profit to the shareholders. 76Saints

10:08pm Sat 28 Dec 13

sparkster says...

I agree we didnt lose our power but if we had there wouldnt have been anything we could do about it, the main thing is we are alive. I agree with eurogordi, you have to try and make the best of a bad situation inconvenient though some things may be, yes food may have been ruined but as the saying goes there is always someone worse off
I agree we didnt lose our power but if we had there wouldnt have been anything we could do about it, the main thing is we are alive. I agree with eurogordi, you have to try and make the best of a bad situation inconvenient though some things may be, yes food may have been ruined but as the saying goes there is always someone worse off sparkster

10:57pm Sat 28 Dec 13

Huffter says...

"I have two teenage daughters who don’t understand why we can’t get the power back." Don't worry - they'll probably grow up.
"I have two teenage daughters who don’t understand why we can’t get the power back." Don't worry - they'll probably grow up. Huffter

9:19am Sun 29 Dec 13

Dai Rear says...

"if more investments had been made from the high bills they collected rather than giving extra profit to the shareholders"
Probably better than the times of expropriation ("nationalisation") when nothing was invested. And remember the "shareholders" are pension funds and even you will like a pension when you're older-won't you?
"if more investments had been made from the high bills they collected rather than giving extra profit to the shareholders" Probably better than the times of expropriation ("nationalisation") when nothing was invested. And remember the "shareholders" are pension funds and even you will like a pension when you're older-won't you? Dai Rear

11:04am Sun 29 Dec 13

Norwegian Saint says...

Just a side note on why some had power cuts and some didn't in the same street.
Simply put, streets are spread over 3 phases, 1 or 2 of these could still give power to some houses.

Imagine each house had alternate coloured front doors with Red, Yellow, Blue, Red, Yellow, Blue etc.... Some faults might only give electricity to the Yellow houses.

Hope this helps?
Just a side note on why some had power cuts and some didn't in the same street. Simply put, streets are spread over 3 phases, 1 or 2 of these could still give power to some houses. Imagine each house had alternate coloured front doors with Red, Yellow, Blue, Red, Yellow, Blue etc.... Some faults might only give electricity to the Yellow houses. Hope this helps? Norwegian Saint

11:57am Sun 29 Dec 13

good-gosh says...

eurogordi wrote:
Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity.

I do not believe SSE should be offering any compensation for what was totally beyond the company's control.

Yes, people might have felt cold (put on extra clothes), but no one went hungry and I'm not aware of anyone dying in this part of the UK.

We really need to bring back the "make do and mend" attitude of a former generation.
Earlier generations cooked on gas.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: Christmas is what you make it, with or without electricity. I do not believe SSE should be offering any compensation for what was totally beyond the company's control. Yes, people might have felt cold (put on extra clothes), but no one went hungry and I'm not aware of anyone dying in this part of the UK. We really need to bring back the "make do and mend" attitude of a former generation.[/p][/quote]Earlier generations cooked on gas. good-gosh

3:55pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Huffter says...

Perhaps Echo reporter Joe Curtis will kindly tell us what he meant when he wrote "electricity cruelly came on for just two hours". Cruelty is not normally considered to be a characteristic of electricity.
Perhaps Echo reporter Joe Curtis will kindly tell us what he meant when he wrote "electricity cruelly came on for just two hours". Cruelty is not normally considered to be a characteristic of electricity. Huffter

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