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Preparing for the blackouts
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
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Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ARCHIVE news report from 1972 describes how it worked
http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/1972/feb/16/fromthearchive
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kenneal - lagger
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Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JavaScriptDonkey wrote:
RenewableCandy wrote:
JavaScriptDonkey wrote:
I remember being told that those power cuts were mandated by the Government in order to draw off support for the strikers.
Can you by any chance remember, who you were told by?


IIRC (and I probably don't) I first heard it when I was in college. One of the lecturers was ex-CEGB and his opinion was that it wasn't feasible to run up and run down the coal fired plants quickly enough to reflect the pattern of power cuts.

I also remember seeing a documentary on the coal strikes stating that there was plenty of coal at the power stations before the strike had begun. Preparation I think they called it. But that might have been the later miner's strikes.

Was anybody here working at the power plants at the time?


The power cuts were during the miner's strike when Ted Heath was PM in the mid seventies and were because the miners struck when there wasn't much coal at the power stations when the strikes started. Many of the coal fired plants ran out of coal so the load had to be shared among the remaining plants.

When Maggie came to power she ensured that there were huge stockpiles of coal at the power stations and she stopped flying pickets from closing the stations down, they bussed the power station workers in past the pickets, when the miners went on strike. Much of the violence during that miners' strike was when miners were trying to stop power station workers and working miners getting to work. Maggie's foresight meant that Scargill and the miners failed in their attempt to bring the country to a grinding halt again and evict a democratically elected government.

The miners' actions in trying to prevent workers in other industries getting to work resulted in the legislation against secondary picketing and much of the rest of the current trade union law. Much of this law had been proposed by Barbara Castle when she was Trade Minister during the Callaghan Labour government but they had chickened out of introducing it because of threats by the Labour Party paymasters in the unions to withdraw funding from the party and MPs and to start a national strike. A register of lobbyists might have been useful then!
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
RenewableCandy wrote:
Well yes but they still go out if the leccy gets turned off Smile !


Not so, these are torch bulbs specificly for use in torches and lanterns when the mains electricity supply is not available.


Candy is right. If you turn the leccy off to a torch bulb, even an LED one, it does go off!! Very Happy Very Happy
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JavaScriptDonkey



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Ken & Adam.

Do we know which power stations actually ran out of coal?
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Tarrel



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
ARCHIVE news report from 1972 describes how it worked
http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/1972/feb/16/fromthearchive


Holy cow! That really brings home how bad things were. I remember the cuts but I was only 14, so wasn't really conscious of the economic impact.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was only ten. Built like an Oxfam advert, living in the North of England and almost permanently cold, I still sympathised with the miners. Because I had some vague idea that their job was tough and unhealthy. Some things never change.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's worth having two or three head torches even when power cuts are not due. Use them often, so you can find out advantages and disadvantages, which are good makes and which are not, which bulbs you prefer etc.

The experience you gain may prove useful in the longer term. I have a Lenser that's about 10 years old now, it gets used every night (dog-walking, getting up in the middle of the night, poking around in sheds, doing awkward diy that needs illumination, stuff like that) and it's taken a real battering in all weathers, the elastic's gone, the battery case is held together with rubber bands, it's powerful and energy-frugal and I'll miss it when it goes.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got two rechargable Lensers, and a cheaper lithium-ion thingy. The Lensers win hands down. It's worth finding a suitable elastic tape and making a replacement strap. I have a couple of spares in case the two in use fail.
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Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got tons of candles I have bought piecemeal over the years.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO, there is a lot to be said for old fashioned hand lamps and lanterns that use large disposable batteries.
Such as the Eveready "powerbeam" handlamps that use a pair of 6 volt spring top lantern batteries.
Simple and robust, virtually immune to damage from battery leaks, too large to misplace, and a long, long runtime.
These have not been made for decades, but good used examples turn up on fleabay regularly, and I have seen NOS ones.

Fit a modern LED bulb and get about 100 hours runtime, from cheapish zinc carbon batteries.

This sort of thing
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EVER-READY-LANTERN-TORCH-Red-Vintage-1970s-Tested-Working-/401350470767?hash=item5d725a2c6f:g:B1AAAOSwblZZGHGU

No specific recommendation is made regarding the ebay seller linked to.
Link provided to show the TYPE of product to which I refer.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another possibility for really simple standby lighting, is to purchase a self contained emergency light as commonly installed in public buildings, these are now very cheap.
Either screw it to the wall or ceiling and permanently connect to the lighting circuit as intended, or alternatively fit a suitable length of flex and a 13 amp plug. Place the light somewhere suitable such as on a high shelf and LEAVE IT PLUGGED IN PERMANENTLY.
In a power cut it will light automatically with absolutely no attention and remain lit for 3 hours.
The drawback is that the light cant be turned off to conserve the battery, and that several watts are consumed forever.
Arguably the simplest and most reliable approach for elderly relatives or young children though.

This sort of thing
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Emergency-Light-8W-T5-IP65-230-240V-Lamp-Waterproof-Bulkhead-Self-Contained-/322385996038?hash=item4b0fb3e906:g:A1IAAOSw241YdOm2

As previously, I make no specific recommendation regarding the seller linked to, link is to illustrate the TYPE of product to which I refer.
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adam2
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Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yet another possibility for cheap and simple emergency lighting is to buy some light bulbs that incorporate an emergency lighting function.

These are inserted into a standard lamp holder and remain lit, at reduced intensity from an internal battery if the power fails.
They "know" the difference between being turned off at the switch and a power cut, which is clever.

One of these in a say a bedroom light, WONT come on and wake you if the power fails at 03-00, but WILL remain lit during a power failure if it was turned on at the switch.
Also if the power fails at say 03-00 whilst you are sleeping, although the lamp wont light automatically, it CAN STILL be turned via the light switch as usual despite the absence of mains power.

I have slight misgivings about the long term reliability of these, they contain a lot of cheap electronics and a lithium cell crammed into a small and hot enclosure.

This sort of thing
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Intelligent-Emergency-Power-Cut-9-watt-Bayonet-Light-Bulb-pack-of-2-/252712359485?hash=item3ad6d4963d:g:pCgAAOSw241Yb3aF

Again no particular recommendation is made regarding either the specific product or the seller of that product.
Link provided to illustrate the TYPE of product to which I refer, other brands and other sellers exist.
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