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  • #16
    Re: Water cuts/Power cuts

    Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
    As I was only born in 1978 (as you may have guessed), I have always thought that people having to use candlelight and "three months' coal or electricity left" sounded more like something out of post-Dickens-era 1873 rather than 1973.

    There must have been a few fires due to accidentally knocked over candles, and a lot of work for the fire brigade.

    I don't remember if announcements were made about when power cuts would affect a particular area or if they happened without warning. I did read that there were more fires due to candles being used. There were so many strikes in the 70s that I don't know if the firemen were also on strike at the same time that the power cuts were ongoing but I recall seeing Army personnel manning old "Green Goddess" military fire engines during the firemens' strike.

    Oddly enough, although the power cuts were a real inconvenience (TV closed down at 10.30pm to encourage people to go to bed), in my experience people just got on with it. There was no going to school and using power cuts as an excuse for not doing your homework. Goodness knows what would happen today should power cuts happen on the scale that they did in the 70s.

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    • #17
      Re: Water cuts/Power cuts

      Originally posted by staffslad View Post
      I don't remember if announcements were made about when power cuts would affect a particular area or if they happened without warning. I did read that there were more fires due to candles being used. There were so many strikes in the 70s that I don't know if the firemen were also on strike at the same time that the power cuts were ongoing but I recall seeing Army personnel manning old "Green Goddess" military fire engines during the firemens' strike.

      Oddly enough, although the power cuts were a real inconvenience (TV closed down at 10.30pm to encourage people to go to bed), in my experience people just got on with it. There was no going to school and using power cuts as an excuse for not doing your homework. Goodness knows what would happen today should power cuts happen on the scale that they did in the 70s.
      I remember the lights suddenly going off during dinner at home and also lighting candles at school ... I certainly recall working by candlelight. There was a kind of 'fun' quality to it but that might be just my temperament. But my memory is that most people, as you say, just 'gritted their teeth' and 'got on with it'. The Army's 'Green Goddesses' during the firemen's strike were impressive, old even then but elegant. They must be a collector's item now.

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      • #18
        Re: Water cuts/Power cuts

        Sydney experienced power cuts in the 70s and 80s. At the time i was working in retail sales and often we had to ask customers to leave with an imminent power cut.

        Now in the second decade of the new Millenium Sydney is now copping another form of power cut..water. The past few years we have been having the El Nino weather affect which reduces rain and therefore water in our catchments. When it gets particularly dire the government applies water restrictions . This means residents can not water paved areas at any time and can only water lawns during evening hrs.

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        • #19
          Re: Water cuts/Power cuts

          A little bit before most posters' time I expect, but during the terrible winter of 1963 there were power cuts as the demand for electricity outstripped supply and was made worse by broken cables, shorted transformers etc. Also, there was a lot of very hard frost for an extended period and water pipes froze. In some parts of the country water tankers had to be employed to supply drinking water.

          During the long hot summer of 1976 there was quite a drought, and again water tankers and standpipes were brought in for drinking water.

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          • #20
            Re: Water cuts/Power cuts

            Most of the power cuts in the 1970s what the media scream about, happened during the miners striking in 1972/3/4. I do remember them vaguely. There were usually warnings before the power was cut off. Interestingly, and slightly off topic, some hospitals depended on coal for their heating supply. They had good back up generators for electricity. Some collieries produced coal during the strike specifically for the hospitals. The N.U.M. agreed to this.

            Later power cuts were generally due to bad weather. There would be no warning about this, obviously.

            Water cuts. The summer of 1976, I remember it well, was extreme. The actual drought started back in 1975, although it was not noticeable. October 1975 was very dry but with low temperatures. The rest of the winter was cold, but generally dry. There was also a lack of rain during spring 1976. When the high pressure settled over Britain, June, July, August 1976, temperatures soared. An already parched ground became baked. Any ground water had long evaporated. Streams and rivers supplying resevoirs had simply dried up.

            I remember my parents and grandparents keeping water in jugs. IIRC, we were lucky that the water was on most days for about an hour in the mornings.

            Any other water cuts were due to maintenance or burst/broken water pipes. Fortunately the longest water was cut off for this period was no more than several hours, for our house anyway.
            Who cared about rules when you were young?

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            • #21
              Re: Water cuts/Power cuts

              During the 1970s power cuts my parents used to go to a pub close to the local hospital as it would still have the electricity on.
              The Trickster On The Roof

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              • #22
                Re: Water cuts/Power cuts

                As a young lad growing up in the 70's I used to feel excited when the power cuts happened. I loved to see my father light up some candles on the mantelpiece. Going outside to the street and seeing it in total darkness was a strange experience.

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