Boxing Day power cut hits Charlton at lunchtime

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: One of many trees that fell during yesterday's storms causing power outages. This one blocked Bowldown Road at Westonbirt. Picture: Peter Robins One of many trees that fell during yesterday's storms causing power outages. This one blocked Bowldown Road at Westonbirt. Picture: Peter Robins

CHARLTON was hit by a Boxing Day blackout just as residents sat down to lunch.

The village near Malmesbury remained in darkness until late into the night as engineers battled floodwater to restore energy supplies.

General manager at the Horse and Groom, Gitte Persike said the power went off at about 12.30. “At first I thought it was a trip switch that had gone because everything was off.”

A call to the power company revealed a major problem affecting the area.

“We already had some guests and we had to tell them that we would not be able to serve any hot food. We offered them sandwiches, but on Boxing Day no one wants sandwiches.”

Staff decided to keep the pub open for drinks in the hope that power would be restored. More candles were lit and the log fire was stoked up.

“We had some people coming in from the village for a drink because they didn’t want to sit at home,” she said. “The people who were here said it was a nice atmosphere.”

But at 5pm she was told the engineers were having trouble because of the flooding and the power cut was likely to continue for some hours, so the pub closed at 7pm.

Storms and torrential rain caused chaos just before Christmas. Scottish and Southern Power Distribution reported around 90,000 customers lost supplies. By today, 1.800 homes were still without power as engineers struggled with challenging conditions.

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