When the lights went out across the UK in ‘72
LESS than three decades after Britain had been victorious in World War II, the lights went out across the nation.
It was 1972 and an era which saw Ted Heath’s Tory government and the trade unions repeatedly going head to head.
When coal supplies at power stations would run low due to strikes, there would be power cuts and blackouts.
Factories, shops and businesses would temporarily close as power supplies were conserved.
Our picture, from this month 45 years ago, shows a power cut at R Thompson Dix butcher’s shop, at the former Grangeway Shopping Centre, in Preston Grange, North Tyneside. The store served top quality steak and sausages from 1970 until the early 1990s.
As for the power cuts, on the home front, TV coverage finished at about 10.30pm every night and, of course, the screens went blank as the power cuts hit.
Sales of candles, meanwhile, soared.
The cuts, which lasted several hours at a time, would come around on a rota basis printed in newspapers, so people knew when to get the candles ready.
Out came the playing cards as families entertained themselves huddled around the flickering light, but many people would just go to bed early - and get up next day to find the power was back on.
In the event, the blackouts would hit home across 1972 and 1973.
Most people aged 50 or over will remember them.
A power cut at R Thompson Dix butcher’s shop, North Tyneside, December 1972 A newsreader using candles during 1972 power cuts