Electric outage closes Landgate

Digging out the cable trench on Hilder'sCliff

The Landgate was closed at 7 am on Friday  February 26 as emergency crews arrived in response to an electricity blackout which affected the eastern end of the High Street as far as Conduit Hill. The fault was diagnosed to a burnt-out cable near the top end of Hilder’s Cliff.

All morning a two-man groundwork team were digging a trench to expose 11 metres of cable tracing it back to the fault. The whole section of five-core metal-coated cable carrying 415 volts is being replaced by plastic-coated cable. Meanwhile, electricity to the shops and residential dwellings along the High Street had been restored by back-feeding the supply from the Conduit Hill sub-station.

Four vans and a digger closed the Landgate
Four vans and a digger closed the Landgate

A second team of repair operatives, headed by Christian Bevis, had also arrived on the scene by individual transport, making a total of four vans in attendance. His company, UK Power Networks, owns the whole distribution network in the South-East, London and the East of England, having acquired it after the sale of EDF Energy Networks to the Cheung Kong Group based in Hong Kong for a reported £5.5 billion.

Rye High Street was practically deserted of pedestrians (but not of vehicles) at 10 o’clock on Friday morning. The usual influx of builders’ vans and shop workers’ cars had navigated by then into the town centre, by circuitous routes, reversing up one way streets to reach their all-day parking spots.


[Editorial comment:    As a matter of interest, it is reported in the Daily Telegraph today (February 26) that Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings  made an unsuccessful bid for London’s City Airport. The group is controlled by Li Kashing, Asia’s richest man.]

Photos: Kenneth Bird and Ray Prewer


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