A storm over Chipping left more than 600 properties without electricity for up to five hours in the Chipping area on Easter Day.
For the area’s pubs, restaurants and hotels the power cut came on one of the busiest days of the year for dining out. Families too, were left without facilities to cook their Easter celebratory meals at home.
At Ferrari’s, Thornley owner Susan Ferrari said they put “plan B” into operation when not one piece of their normal kitchen equipment was working, as they had a wedding with 75 guests to cater for.
Susan said there was no way the wedding reception - due to eat at 5pm - could not go ahead. So, thanks to barbeques and ingenuity, the menu was changed from roast beef to steak - still with hot veg, but sauteed potatoes instead - and the desserts had to be partly changed.
While she said it had been “all panic” at one stage, at the end of the day all went well and she said the guests “thought it was fantastic.”
Meanwhile, in the restaurant she said they had served a limited menu, but 40 customers chose not to take this up.
At The Derby Arms, Thornley although lunchtime customers had been served, a spokeperson said they had been forced to close the kitchens for the afternoon, turning diners away.
At The Dog and Partridge on Hesketh Lane, employee John Holt said they had been “lucky” and had managed to go ahead with their 230 meal bookings because they had gas.
Their generator packed up because they were using so much electric, and despite no lighting, till or credit card machine as well as the alarms going off, the cellar warming up and causing the beer to be a bit “fobby” and stuggling with some of the puddings due to the microwave not working, he said: “People were very understanding.”
He added: “It couldn’t have happened on a worse day. It is one of the busiest days of the year apart from Mothering Sunday.”
A spokesperson for Electricity North West said 650 customers had been left without power after damage was caused to overhead lines by lightning around 2.23pm, engineers restoring electricity at 6.20pm. But some customers said it did not come back on until around 7pm.