Power cut wipes out trade on busiest day of week

Jordan Britcliffe, Costa Coffee manager.
Jordan Britcliffe, Costa Coffee manager.

A power cut hit Clitheroe town centre leaving many businesses out of pocket on the busiest day of the week.

Parts of the town centre were thrown into chaos after the power went off at around 12.30pm on Saturday lunch-time in Castle Street, the focal point of the town centre.

While several busineses were forced to close, many remained open including W H Smith.

But store supervisor Mrs Ellen Eastwood said the shop lost £900 worth of trade in five hours as many customers believed the store was shut.

She said: “The lights were working at the back of the shop but not at the front so everyone just assumed we were closed and hardly anyone came in.

“We are a large business but we cannot afford to lose that amount of money on what should have been a peak shopping time. We will be pursuing compensation for the lost trade.”

An undergrond cable fault caused the power cut which affected 63 premises and was not restored until 11pm that evening.

Costa Coffee manager Jordan Britcliffe was anticipating his busiest day of the year but instead had to close the cafe in Castle Street. He said: “The place was jam packed but we had no option but to close as all the tills, machines and lights were not working.

“After a really busy week it was shaping up to be the best day of the year. I have not seen it as busy as that in Clitheroe since the food festival. The town was really busy and it was sunny so this came at the worst possible time.”

Cafe Nero also had to close despite being packed with customers but Boots store remained open but customers could only make purchases with cash.

Store manager Mrs Helen Maginn said the store kept its doors open so that medication needed by customers was available from the pharmacy. Mrs Maginn said: “We did not have any lights, phones or tills but we mamaged to stay open.”

Mrs Sarah Hopkins, the owner of Igloo gift shop, said the shop remained opened by torchlight but the rear of the premises has to be roped off as it was too dark for customers to see properly.

She said: “There is no doubt trade was badly affected but many customers said they would come back next week.”

Miss Helen Smith, the owner of Boho Chic in New Market Street, said she only took half what she had been expecting.

She said: “I managed to stay open despite not having any lights, till or phone but I had to place a sign in the window to say we were open as I could hear people going past saying “fancy being closed on a Saturday.’ “

A spokesman for Electricity North West, said: “An underground cable fault caused the loss of power to 63 customers in Clitheroe at 12-35pm on Saturday afternoon.

“Engineers quickly arrived onsite but unfortunately the fault was difficult to locate on the network. Engineers worked through the day and night and restored power to all customers at 11pm.

“We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused and if any customers would like further information they can contact us on 0800 195 4141 or follow @ElectricityNW.” WCAT 21-04-16 WEB ONLY powercutcastle SUE