Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

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

12:00
County Hall in Exeter.

A Sidmouth woman refused medical intervention so she could die peacefully in her own bed at home, an inquest heard.

Read more
07:00
Recycling boxes. Ref mhc 07-16SH 5145. Picture: Simon Horn

Plans to introduce an expanded recycling scheme in Sidmouth - which will see landfill-bound rubbish collected every three weeks - have prompted concern from some Herald readers.

Read more
06:58
Ron Miles behind the bar at the lamb & flag in Ottery. Ref sho 3816-39-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Stalemate as owners fail to make necessary repairs to deteriorating building

Read more
06:26
Sidmouth carnival. Ref shs 4032-40-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Tickets are on sale for a charity fashion show to raise money for Sidmouth Carnival.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:58
Greater horseshoe bats

Appeal reached 80 per cent of £26,000 target in just one month - but more support needed

Read more
Yesterday, 11:40
Macmillan volunteers at a street collection in Sidmouth on Saturday.

Fundraisers who have netted £175,000 for a charity in 15 years are ‘desperately’ appealing for volunteers to keep campaigning.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:03
Red Arrows at Sidmouth 2016. Ref shs 34-16TI 6349. Picture: Terry Ife

The Red Arrows put on a fantastic display at Sidmouth to a bumper crowd on Friday evening, the weather was just perfect for such an event.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:35
The Sidmouth whicker donkey

A mystery over Sidmouth Bowling Club’s missing ‘lucky’ wicker donkey has been solved - after it was revealed the mascot has taken a holiday.

Read more
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Sidmouth Town Band performed The Last Night of The Proms at Connaight Gardens. Picture: Kyle Baker

An acclaimed broadcaster could think of ‘nothing better’ when Sidmouth Town Band (STB) asked him to compére its Last Night of the Proms concert on Saturday.

Read more
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Walkers set off for their final trek of the Sidmouth Walking Festival in 2014. Ref shs 6125-40-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Ramblers can travel the length of East Devon when a popular walking festival returns next month.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications