Phone lines still down after lightning strike

10:32 14 January 2013

Stephen and Stella Huyshe-Shires by their Christmas trees and the telegraph pole they think was struck by lightning

Stephen and Stella Huyshe-Shires by their Christmas trees and the telegraph pole they think was struck by lightning

Archant

Sidbury residents are still living “in the dark ages” three weeks after a lightning strike knocked out the phone line.

The storm surge in Roncombe Valley caused electricity to arc between phone and power lines, circuits to be burnt together and communications equipment in homes irreparably damaged.

The occupants of historic house Sand were selling one of the Christmas trees they grow to a father and his two children when the bolt struck.

Stephen Huyshe-Shires said: “There was some hail, then a few rumbles of thunder – all of sudden there was a ball of light and an almighty bang.”

The lightning struck yards from the pines, which they donate to churches across the Sid Valley.

After finding that the power was still on, Stephen heard from a neighbour that the telephones had not fared so well.

“It had blown his phone sockets eight feet across the room,” said the 63-year-old.

“Suddenly we were back in the dark ages.”

A lack of mobile signal in the valley, combined with the damage to the phone and internet connections, meant that residents were cut off for much of Christmas.

Many of the 18 houses are still not back online, although BT engineers have been working around the clock for the last three weeks.

Stephen’s wife Stella, 62, said: “They were out there the next day, and there have been three or four engineers every day since.”

Now retired, she volunteers for the charity Lyme Disease Action, answering correspondence via email, so she has had to take all her work to a friend’s in Sidford.

Cabling has had to be replaced all the way up the valley, but the full extent of the problem will not be clear until they can check their broadband.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Patients are paying the price for the ‘99 per cent’ of drivers who use and abuse a free town centre car park, but health bosses and library staff have promised a crackdown.

Read more
11:00
The 1st Sid Vale Scouts are putting their old HQ up for auction

Sidmouth’s scouts could be sent well on their way to their £180,000 fundraising target for a new HQ when their old hut goes under the hammer next month.

Read more
06:39
Sidmouth Victoria Hospital. Ref shs 7754-40-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

Health bosses have been accused of paying ‘lip service’ to recommendations from independent representatives against proposals that would see Sidmouth’s Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) close.

Read more

A businessman whose dream of a seafront coffee van was dashed has caused another stir peddling hot drinks from a tricycle – using legislation that dates back to the Victorian age.

Read more
Lucy Lowe with her children Lydia, Tilly and Barnaby outside Ottery St Mary Hospital. Ref sho 8179-22-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A paralysed mum-of-four says she is devastated at being refused a disability grant that was her ‘last hope’ of returning home to her family.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:39
Ottery St Mary Hospital entrance. Ref sho 7454-44-14TI Picture: Terry Ife

Health bosses have come under fire from representatives who accused them of paying ‘lip service’ to a report’s recommendations against cuts to Ottery’s hospital services.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:25
Devon Freewheelers has extended its service to help South Western Ambulance Service and also Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

Devon Freewheelers is celebrating rolling out its lifeline service to include delivering blood to on-scene emergency doctors.

Read more
Sunday, May 31, 2015
shs salcombe memorial 2

Servicemen past and present, of the Second Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, remembered fallen heroes who held off enemy soldiers during World War One.

Read more
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Donna Lane from Sidford won two prizes at the Devon County Show

A ‘magical’ floral display created by a Sidford resident won two prizes at this year’s Devon County Show.

Read more
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Members of the Sid Valley Carers’ Support Group at The Bowd after a much enjoyed group lunch

A carers’ group in Sidmouth is supporting a national campaign to reach those who do not seek help.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder