Ever since Prime Minster Stanley Baldwin promised a land of cheap and abundant electricity in 1926, we have grown ever more dependent on free-flowing power. In Britain's laissez-faire environment a huge range of systems were in operation, and, for many, electricity was prohibitively expensive. Keeping just five bulbs going for a day would cost a week's wages for the average person - and in 1920 only 6% of British homes were connected.
But by the mid 1950s over half of consumers had sockets too and the biggest driver for fitting plug points had been the electric iron.

In a chaotic week of power cuts, the army was mobilized to send emergency generators to hospitals. A row about anti-Semitism is being used by Jeremy Corbyn's opponents within Labour to undermine his leadership, Unite chief Len McCluskey says. Bouts of shop-lifting erupted in darkened department stores and the country was brought to a standstill.
WIRING THE NATIONBefore the National Grid was set up, electricity was generated and supplied by a hotch-potch of private companies and municipal councils.

The scene was set for the miners' disputes and power cuts of the 1970s that culminated in the three day week and Edward Heath's election defeat in 1974.

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