Power at last for Suffolk couple

AN ELDERLY couple from Suffolk who have lived without electricity for nearly 40 years said today they were delighted to have power in their home at last.

AN ELDERLY couple from Suffolk who have lived without electricity for nearly 40 years said today they were delighted to have power in their home at last.

Margaret Payne, 72, and husband Pat, 74, have lived at Folly Farm in the village of Whepstead, near Bury St Edmunds, without the modern day conveniences most householders take for granted for 37 years.

But when their daughter Linda Brickell, 50, and her husband Alan, 50, decided to move into the house, the younger couple offered to pay the £19,000 required to install power.

Today the lights, iron, television, and a fridge were turned on for the first time.

Mrs Payne said having a refrigerator would make the biggest difference to her life because it meant she did not have to shop for fresh food each day.

Mrs Payne, who has always hand-washed the family's clothes and cooked on gas, said life for the couple would be easier now electricity had been installed.

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"We lit the house with gas lights and when we went from one room to another, we had to take a torch or a candle with us.

"I never really thought about it being hard because that's the way it was and it had been like that for 37 years but I suppose things weren't as easy for us as for a person with electricity," she said.

Mrs Payne, whose nine children grew up without power at Folly Farm, has been given a gift set including a toaster, kettle and sandwich-maker by her sister-in-law.

"It will be quite a novelty to have an electric kettle and a toaster but I'm very excited about it," she said.

The national watched as a frantic GMTV presenter handed over a refrigerator and a bottle of champagne to the couple.

Is there anyone else still without electricity? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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