UPDATE: Worst fears of Trimingham residents realised as woman suffers stroke while phone lines are down

PUBLISHED: 16:16 21 November 2012

Steve Howe, who was worried about the impact of phone and internet problem at Trimingham.

Steve Howe, who was worried about the impact of phone and internet problem at Trimingham.


The worst fears of Trimingham residents left without a BT line for nine days were confirmed when an elderly man spent 40 minutes looking for a mobile phone to call an ambulance after his wife suffered a stroke.

The 16 bungalows in Broadwood Close lost their landline and internet connection on November 7.

As reported earlier, resident Steve Howe raised concerns about the safety of his elderly and vulnerable neighbours, who don’t have mobile phones, and called for the fault to be fixed as a matter of urgency.

The woman, who is in her 80s, suffered a stroke last Thursday - the day before the line was reconnected.

Vital minutes were wasted as her husband, who doesn’t want to be identified, went from house to house to find a neighbour with a mobile phone signal to call for help.

Mr Howe said: “They say with a stroke that time is of the essence. My neighbour had no way of calling for help. It must have been very distressing for him. He eventually managed to find someone with a mobile phone and his wife got rushed to hospital.”

He added: “There was always a risk of something like this happening. Two of my neighbours have panic buttons in their homes which haven’t been working while the line was off. One of them is 92 and blind.”

A BT spokesman said an engineer had visited Broadwood Close on Thursday, November 15 and diagnosed that around 115 metres of underground cabling needed to be replaced to make this repair. He said they were back on site on Friday, November 16, to carry out the cabling works and reconnect the lines.

Mr Howe, whose work in the printers and copiers industry has suffered because he cannot use the internet, confirmed the BT phone line was restored on Friday, but said the service was still intermittent. He said the outage had cost him thousands of pounds in lost business but he had only been offered £1 a day in compensation.

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