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Traders lose custom during power cuts
9:48am Saturday 24th August 2013 in News
BUSINESSES in Marlow town centre were left frustrated as power cuts in Marlow forced them to close this week.
Francesco's Italian restaurant and O'Donoghues pub in Spittal Street both lost trade as a result.
Southern Electric has said sorry to the 61 affected customers in Liston Road, Dukes Place and Crowne Lane and Spittal Street.
Geoff Salinas, Group Area Head Chef at Francesco's, which was forced to close for the whole day, said: "Closures don't help and it does affect our reputation in these times when they (customers) may be reluctant to return.
"We had to send people away."
There have been occasional power cuts in recent years at some buildings in that part of the street, which date back to the 1840s.
"We are frustrated as any other trader would be because it's been going on about four years periodically," Mr Salinas said.
The eatery, normally open from 11am to 10pm, had to cancel its 20 bookings on Tuesday but offered a table at its Maidenhead branch instead.
John Ashton, owner of O'Donoghues, which normally would open at 4pm, said a modern day pub is simply too dependent on electricity in order to be able to open safely for trade.
He said: "I'm philosophical, you cant do anything about it, it's one of the inherent problems of running a business.
"It's just frustrating but the guys from SE were very helpful looking on site."
Stocks of beer, which has to be kept cool, were not ruined, he added, though it may have been had the power cut lasted longer.
Both traders said they could not fault Southern Electric, which they said had done what it could.
The power went off at 10.30am and then it was restored to all customers at 1.30pm, Southern Electric Power Distribution said, but it went back off again at 2.30pm.
In a statement, the company said: "It was restored in stages. It went back on at 6.50pm for 51 customers and then all power was restored by 8.30pm.
"As to the cause it looks like a transient fault on the low voltage network and the engineers are conducting further investigations. It looks like it may be an underground cable fault.
"We would like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience and thank them for their patience while we carry the investigation."
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