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January 19, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Behind the scenes on a stormy night at Apley Farm Shop

Storm damage

Storm damage on the Apley Estate on Wednesday night included Apley Farm Shop’s wood chip boiler’s hardware, caused by a power surge. The power surge was caused by a broken cable (I will explain below) blowing around in the strong winds & sparking whenever it hit the pylon or other cables. The engineers came today (Friday) to reset the whole system. At least it’s the first time it’s happened.

The intruder alarm went off about 2:30am Thursday. Our General Manager was on holiday, so Gavin went over to find out what had set it off. Very kindly Tony Scott of Scotty’s Animal Park & Bert Edwards, Apley Estate Clerk of Works, joined him at the farm shop.

They found Pigg’s Playbarn lights oddly flickering on & off & saw the emergency lights (so it never goes totally pitch black) were on. Gavin called Western Power & about 3:30am they realised that the connecting cable between the high voltage (11,000 volts) lines & the transformer box (which reduces the voltage down to 250v) to which the line is attached, had been broken by the wind’s force.

The pylon (which carries the lines & the transformer just for the farm shop) is in the middle of a field opposite, so it was lucky Gavin had his 4×4 as the engineer had arrived in a normal car. Gavin helped the engineer use a long plastic pole to disconnect the broken & loose cable, (which should join the high voltage lines to the transformer box). Thrashing about in the strong winds it was that which caused the power surge & all the power to crash & the lights to flicker.

Gavin eventually got back to bed 5:30am then back to the shop 8:30am to reset the cash tills, the chillers, the server, the phones & the alarm (but the heating couldn’t be fixed until today). I’ll get some more photos asap.

What a night ! It gives just a tiny glimpse behind-the-scenes of how the farm shop & the Estate is run & the incredible commitment (for which we’ll thank them at our annual Estate staff party this weekend) of our staff, whatever the task, whatever the time of day or night & whatever the weather. THANK YOU ALL for keeping things going when bizarre things like this happen !

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