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Power station fire leaves dementia sufferers in the dark

PUBLISHED: 17:44 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:40 12 August 2010

ESTATE residents were left in the dark for the third time in three weeks, after a major power-station fire. Almost 150 residents on the Calverley Close estate, Beckenham, lost power for 16 hours last Sunday after a sub station fire in Sydenham at 7.20am.

ESTATE residents were left in the dark for the third time in three weeks, after a major power-station fire.

Almost 150 residents on the Calverley Close estate, Beckenham, lost power for 16 hours last Sunday after a sub station fire in Sydenham at 7.20am.

Thousands of homes in Bromley, Sydenham and Lewisham had their power cut by the blaze, and chaos hit the roads as traffic lights malfunctioned.

Most homes had electricity restored by 11.45am.

But a 66-year-old pensioner of Lloyd House, Calverley Close, Beckenham, said: "It is grim for the people of Calverley. Our power returned at 12.30am.

"It was not safe to go out after dark because the doors are electric and we didn't know who was lurking in the corridors.

"Our blocks are very prone to vandalism and criminals going in and out.

"We had a nine-hour cut in the last three weeks that caused the boiler filaments in the communal block to burn out, leaving some without hot water or heating.

"I wonder why this estate is so badly affected, whether there is some fault that is not being properly fixed."

The pensioner was left listening to her dynamo radio in the dark until power was restored at 12.30am, Monday morning.

She added: "I am not terribly well so it was obviously difficult, but some of our estate is sheltered housing and has vulnerable people living there.

"Some people with dementia were just left in the dark.

"We are left wondering when it is going to happen next."

An EDF Energy spokesman said the estate's frequent power cuts were a string of coincidences.

He said: "They are not connected as far as our records show. It is not a consistent fault.

"We apologise for the inconvenience caused by this incident, especially as it follows on from similar problems on June 3.

"The area was also affected by supply problems on May 12. This was caused by a fault on an underground cable, which has now been repaired."

Crystal Palace rail station was closed for the day after losing power, while train 20 Southern trains were cancelled due to smoke drifting across the tracks.

The fire brigade had the Sydenham sub-station fire under control by 11.50am using 30 fire-fighters.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

The EDF power-cut help line can be reached on 0800 028 0247.,000 years ago.

The whole school hall was transformed last Wednesday into a hive of bread making, canopic jar clay modelling, herb and spice mixing, soap carving, olive crushing and scarab beetle jewellery design. In the afternoon the school hall was turned into the Royal Court of Queen Nefertiti and students were entertained by dancers, priests, the fortune telling Apis bull and a fine feast served efficiently by 'slaves'.

'Red wine' was sipped from silver goblets, while the invited guests feasted on courses of bread, cheese, fruit and honey cake.

Year six Form Tutor, Jane Allerton, said: "It was an excellent learning experience, thoroughly enjoyed by all the girls.

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