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Readers' memories of the power cuts.

Jack: I was just a boy of 10 or so when the black outs began. I lived in South Shields and remember my dad reading the timetable from the evening paper so he knew what time the lights would go out on a particular day.

As a lad I found it both frightening and exciting at the same time. We would boil the kettle minutes before they went out so we had hot water for tea, dad would have the immersion heater on for baths and we would sit around a candle counting down minutes and seconds until 'click', off went the electricity.

It was strange to live like that but we played cards by candlelight and I think it made us more of a family as it forced us away from our old black and white TV and made us come together. It was magical when the lights came back on, it was like coming out of the dark ages. Kids these days would be lost without their phone chargers, Play Stations, Xboxes and so on - it might be what the country needs to bring back basic family values.

Maria from Hebburn: The power cuts were probably difficult for the adults but good fun if you were a child in the 70s - I remember ghost stories around the candle and treats to eat. We dared each other to go upstairs and see who was brave enough to stand the longest in the dark. Boom time for candle-makers!

Derek Richardson: My dad, Bill Richardson, worked in a car breaker's yard at the time, and he brought home six car batteries and six car headlights. He attached crocodile clips to the headlamp wires and then attached the wires to the batteries. The neighbours couldn't work out how our house was all lit up, while everywhere else was pitch black! We already had a battery charger in the shed, so we had no trouble keeping the batteries topped up.

Dave Moore: I remember the power rotation so you needed to know what block you were in to find out when you had power. My dad rigged up the radio and a motorbike headlight to work off a car battery when the power was off.

Ian Tovell: I remember on a winter's night the whole family huddled around the candle ... And when it got really cold my father used to light it!

Heather Lennox: Less school, so I didn't have to walk through the nasty slush as much.

Alan: We all gathered round the piano...wishing someone could play it!
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 2, 2013
Previous Article:Remember the 70s dark ages; How the North dealt with the power cuts.
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