'Nothing can compensate a ruined Christmas' - anger remains as power is back

Rory Campbell, who lives in Shipdham

Families in Shipdham were left without power for five days over the Christmas period - Credit: Archant

Families in a Norfolk village who were left without light and heating for five days have said "nothing can compensate for a ruined Christmas".

UK Power Networks on the scene in Shipdham, near Dereham.

UK Power Networks on the scene in Shipdham, near Dereham. - Credit: Samantha Shelley

Some residents in Shipdham, near Dereham, spent much of the festive weekend with intermittent power as a combination of problems caused power cuts.

Families in Shipdham near Thetford have been left without power.

Families in Shipdham near Swaffham have been left without power. - Credit: UK Power Networks

The cuts ran from Christmas Eve until December 29, when UK Power Networks (UKPN) was able to resolve the problem.

At one point more than 130 properties in Shipdham were without electricity.

Rory Campbell, who lives in Shipdham

Rory Campbell, who lives in Shipdham - Credit: Rory Campbell

After not thinking much of the initial outage on Christmas Eve, Rory Campbell put his turkey in the oven at 6am the next day.

"Christmas Day was a nightmare," he said. "the power went off at 12ish and didn't come back on until gone 7pm, meaning we didn't sit down to have Christmas dinner until 8pm.

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"Spending most of what was suppose to be a happy day in the cold and dark was not ideal, let alone the fire hazard with all the candles we had to light."

The "nightmare" continued on Boxing Day when Tier Four restrictions were implemented and back-up generators, supplied by UKPN, repeatedly ran out of fuel.

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Mr Campbell said: "With four of us living under our roof and not having any family living on their own to be our support bubble, we had nowhere to turn when others were going elsewhere for showers.

"UKPN made too many mistakes and like most people, I can’t trust them.

"Failure to keep a generator topped up with fuel is ridiculous. I can’t forgive them for all my work bonuses that went on Marks and Spencer food, and the whole lot had to be thrown."

UK Power Networks on the scene in Shipdham, near Dereham.

UK Power Networks on the scene in Shipdham, near Dereham. - Credit: Samantha Shelley

Another resident, Sue Brown, said: "The issue being fixed is just utter relief that it is over but trepidation that it's going to happen again.

"They have also informed us that someone will be contacting us regarding some form of compensation, but to be honest nothing can compensate for a ruined Christmas at the end of what has been a horrendous year for everyone."

A spokesperson for UKPN said: "We would like to apologise to people in the Shipdham area who were without power for periods since Christmas Eve.

David and Ryan Lingwood cooking christmas dinner on the bbq

David and Ryan Lingwood, trying to cook their Christmas dinner on the BBQ after they lost power. - Credit: Samantha Lingwood

"We appreciate many people are staying at home so it is particularly difficult to be without power – and this is not the usual high standard of service we provide."

UKNP said a "combination of problems" had contributed, including "complex faults on underground cables" and temporary generators not working properly.

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