It’s emerged that some parts of Penarth suffered electricity cuts last night as a result of a “multiple failures ” in underground mains cables .
Amongst the areas affected were Sully Terrace and Berkley Drive where power was lost just after 20:00 and was not restored until the early hours of this morning. Western Power Distribution – the utility which provides power to Penarth – said they were first alerted to the problem at 21:02 last night .
Local residents said a team of engineers attempted to sort out the problems at a local switch box – but then called in mechanical diggers to locate the faults in the underground cables.
One eyewitness who is a professional engineer said the buried cables which were eventually exposed, looked “ancient” and comprised a type of obsolete four core which were insulated and protected with a coating of waxed tar paper .
Western Power Distribution says these old low voltage cables are not routinely replaced and can last for many years – but they are replaced if they become faulty.
Western Power Distribution said the faulty cable was a four-core low voltage power cable comprising “three phases and a neutral”.
New pvc-covered cables have now been installed in the problem area. A total of 54 homes were affected and power was restored to them at 03:32 this morning . All consumers in Penarth should currently have normal supplies.
Some underground cables in the town could possibly be a legacy of Penarth’s original electricity power station – or “Electric Works” as it was called – which was at the junction of Westbourne Road and Forrest Road . (Thanks to PDN poster David Moorcraft for pinpointing the location )
This was run by “Penarth Electric Lighting Co Ltd ” . The station appears in a 1918 map of Penarth and locates the long-demolished power station at the junction of Westbourne Road and Forrest Road. Penarth Library’s Chief Librarian Marcus Payne has found that the station was first-established in 1898.
It appears that the original provisional order to install electricity in Penarth was deposited with the Board of Trade under the provisions of the Electric Lighting Acts of 1882 and 1890 (see https://archive.org/stream/electricalengin00unkngoog/electricalengin00unkngoog_djvu.txt )