Power is lost - along with trade

DISAPPOINTED sales staff lost up to £3,000 worth of trade on one of the busiest days of the year when a power cut plunged their shop into darkness.Thousands of shoppers had flocked to Felixstowe yesterday in the hectic run-up to Christmas - but they found more than 40 shops and businesses were unable to serve them after somebody apparently cut through a power cable.

DISAPPOINTED sales staff lost up to £3,000 worth of trade on one of the busiest days of the year when a power cut plunged their shop into darkness.

Thousands of shoppers had flocked to Felixstowe yesterday in the hectic run-up to Christmas - but they found more than 40 shops and businesses were unable to serve them after somebody apparently cut through a power cable.

A shopper spotted smoke coming from a pavement grate and firemen from Princes Street, Ipswich, were called to Hamilton Road to put out the fire.

It only took the fire crew 10 minutes but the power supply was interrupted for several hours much to the annoyance of shoppers and shopkeepers.


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Banks, High Street chain stores and individual businesses were affected by the chaos caused when they could not operate credit card machines, tills and other equipment in a section of the shopping street close to Bent Hill.

A spokeswoman for EDF Energy said: ''A fault on an underground cable interrupted power to 44 customers in the Felixstowe area at 10.47am.''

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She said that an EDF energy team tried to reconnect customers as quickly as possible and power was restored after 2pm. The company apologised for the inconvenience caused.

The disruption was a major disappointment for the Bon Marche women's fashion shop in Hamilton Road where manager Fiona Goldsmith had come in on her day off to help the six staff deal with hordes of customers. They were also planning for the start of the sale on December 27.

Mrs Goldsmith said: ''We had to shut our shop from 9.30am to 2.30pm, then the power went off again for 30 minutes before coming back on.

''There was not a lot we could do because it was pitch black as most of the emergency lighting had gone off as well. We were told by the electricity board that somebody had cut through the main cable and I think we have lost between £2,000 and £3,000 today.

''We were gutted. This is our busiest week and now that the children are off school, we expected a lot of mothers to come in. Felixstowe was very busy and we had to put a notice on the door to say we were shut.

''Some of our customers were not very happy that we shut. Others were okay but some had come into town to shop at us and some said how dare we shut. There were some shoppers who stood there and waited for us to reopen.''

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