I took a trip into the heart of the power cut zone tonight – part of me thought I might be able to get a dramatic photo from the top of Shooters Hill, but it wasn’t to be and I ended up jumping off the bus at Crook Log, Bexleyheath, just by Danson Park; before walking back into the centre of Welling.
The first thing that struck me is how eerie it felt to see a great chunk of south-east London without lights – although I could see lights from Bexleyheath town centre, and the road down to Blackfen was fully lit, the only things lighting the road were cars and (especially) buses. Oh, and the solar-powered bus stop panels, now coming into their own. And the second thing – the burglar alarms. It was a night to watch your step. The third thing – light pollution was still an issue, with night clouds still reflecting street lights from elsewhere.
There were few people out and about. A police van checked up on me – they were friendly, and the van’s stripes helped create my favourite photograph, at the edge of Welling town centre.
But battling away were the three men behind Elite Fish Bar, fresh from appearing on BBC London News and still frying thanks to a generator. The occupants of what looked like the last chip shop on earth knew what was going on. “Take the photo from across the road! You could sell this picture!” Hopefully their ingenuity will see them – and their neighbours – through what’s going to be a trying week.