Pensioner suffers 20-year power cut

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An elderly widow lived by candlelight for 20 years after believing she had been disconnected from the mains for using too little electricity.

The 86-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, has used candles and oil lamps since 1977, when she returned to her home in Sheffield to find she had been cut off. The pensioner thought she had been disconnected by Yorkshire Electricity for using too little power and never complained to the company. As a result nothing was done until a neighbour found out and called the company.

The widow told the workmen who came to investigate the problem: "We came home from shopping one day and some electricity board workers were digging outside our house and we haven't had any electricity since. I think we were disconnected because we weren't using enough electricity."

Sarah Chadwick, of Yorkshire Electricity, said: "We're not sure why she was disconnected and we're looking into it. When we found out we went to see her straight away and sorted it out."

Kate Watson-Smyth