Oswestry shop stays open by candlelight after flood-induced power cut divides street

A popular Oswestry shopping street was cut in half when a power cut saw one side lose its electricity supply.

June Williams, of RJ Christian Jewellers, who are without power and working by candlelight
June Williams, of RJ Christian Jewellers, who are without power and working by candlelight

Except for one hardy long standing family business where they put a big candle on their front desk and had their front door open for customers.

Workers from SP Power Networks were able to be on the scene at Willow Street within 10 minutes of supplies going off. And they had got most of them back on in 80 minutes in the early hours of this morning.

But that still left 18 shops in Bailey Street off, with many showing closed signs. Others were only open for limited business. They were expected to be off-supply until the middle of Monday afternoon.

Miss June Williams, at family jewellery shop R.J Christian, is built of sterner stuff. She had a big candle on the counter and had already seen a few customers.

"We haven't got an electric till," said Miss Williams at the business which has been trading since 1906.

"We can't tell any more whether Mondays will be busy or not - we can never tell, so it is important for us not to turn customers away and to stay open."

Elsewhere in Bailey Street, The Works, Oak Furniture Shop and estate agents Bowen Son and Watson both had closed signs. Timpsons was running a collection only service.

And the shutters were down at Home Bargains, with a sign taped up to say the store was closed due to a power cut. Next door however mobile phone shops Vodafone and EE had their lights on and were trading.

Disappointed shoppers were seen wandering the street, and looking at the sign on the discount store windows.

Shopper Barbara McGlinchey said she was pleased that it is only a power cut.

"I was thinking it was another shop closing, we are losing too many," she said as she stood outside Home Bargains.

And Peter Keen, who works at the local hospital, said: "It is such a wonderful store and the staff are so kind and helpful."

SP Energy Networks engineer Max Smith, from Gobowen, was leading the power company team out fixing the problem.

He said they were hoping to get the last 18 customers back on between 2 and 3pm today.

But he added that the Home Bargains store had lost part of its systems in the leak which could take longer to fix.

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