Powerless in Bexley

At 13.15 today, I was enjoying my lunch break in Bexleyheath, watching live footage from the fourth plinth and reading the newspaper, when suddenly the screen went blank and the room went darker – and eerily quiet. There’d been a power cut.

Ten hours later, we’re still suffering the same power cut. This was no localised, temporary blip: I wandered the length of the Broadway to take in the unusual sight of nearly all the shops closed at 5pm and, even more unusually all the lights being switched off; not even administration and failure had managed to dim those of the Woolworths sign.

I walked home to Crayford, carefully negotiating the various road junctions with powered-down traffic light systems, and all the way there was no sign of electricity. It seems the power cut extends the full width of the borough, from Welling to Crayford, plus beyond, into Dartford and perhaps even Orpington. Not only that, but it could take EDF Energy “at least 24-36 hours, maybe longer” to restore power to all those affected.

The total loss of power across almost an entire London borough for even a whole afternoon (let alone over a day, as it now looks like being) would, you might expect, warrant fairly excitable coverage from the capital’s media. BBC London dispatched a reporter live to the scene – well, up the road from the actual scene – of the Soho fire recently, and that hadn’t actually directly affected all that many people. And the fire and vandalism angle (did I mention that? EDF did) adds a nice bit of intrigue and crime for, say, the Evening Standard to get its teeth into.

But what did lucky, electricity-enjoying viewers of BBC London’s 18.30 TV bulletin see about this incident? Nothing at all. Not a mention. And a search on the Standard’s web site for ‘power cut’ still yields no results dated today. It appears it’s not just the national grid we’re cut off from: as far as the London-wide media are concerned, Bexley’s just not worth the train fare from Charing Cross.

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4 Responses

  1. To be fair, gbp3.20 is quite a stretch in these heightened times.

    But absolutely agreed: I only knew about the Bexley fail because my email’s routed through my company’s Sidcup office. Had there been a giant outage that took out the whole of Islington, I’m fairly sure my colleagues in Sidcup would have heard about it rather earlier…

  2. […] big news for a big chunk of London. But how did the capital’s media report it? New blog Bexcentric takes up the […]

  3. What a great looking blog! Nice work.
    Your site was one of the very first I found when typing “Power Outage in Bexley” into Google. That would certainly back up your comment.

  4. […] Comments Hugh Hancock on Powerless in Bexley‘It’s only SE London, it doesn’t matter’, part 2: The power cut « 853 […]

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