Life's a gas after 40 years without power

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The Independent Online

A couple who lived for 40 years with no gas, electricity or running water are celebrating their first week together in a newly renovated home with all mod cons.

A couple who lived for 40 years with no gas, electricity or running water are celebrating their first week together in a newly renovated home with all mod cons.

While their neighbours are adjusting to life in the 21st century, Albert and Grace Juttus have just dragged themselves into the 20th after their local council awarded them a £40,000 home-improvement grant.

The couple previously cooked on a wooden stove, which doubled up as their home's main source of heat. Three oil lamps lit the tiny two-bedroom bungalow near Shenton in Leicestershire. They drank and washed in water collected in a bucket from a natural spring in their garden and used another bucket as a makeshift lavatory.

But this week they are becoming used to modern life after the oil lamps were replaced by electric lights, and the buckets replaced by a bathroom complete with power shower and flushing toilet.

Mr Juttus, 74, said: "It is taking some getting used to but life is so much easier. Having running water and electricity has made such a difference. We always said that as long as we had each other nothing else mattered, but the improvements that have been made have made a world of difference.

"We were never comfortable with the idea of handouts but Grace is 72 and suffers from severe arthritis and it was making it very difficult living as we were."

The couple's lifestyle was uncovered 15 months ago when Albert applied to Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council for a grant to help to dig a well.

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