#Watergate in Richmond last Christmas

by Teresa Read, The Twickenham Tribune

The blitz spirit was alive in South West London on Christmas Day when tweets informed people that there was no water in Twickenham, Teddington and Hampton and further afield, and as Santa finished his nightly rounds, families and restaurants were desperately trying to cook Christmas dinner.  At the same time as the loss of water was announced by Thames Water, Anthony Barnosky tweeted temperatures in the North Pole undergo a “heat wave” and Clive Finlayson from the Gibraltar Museum re tweeted that in the last week the Arctic lost enough water to cover the UK.  A tweet from Thames Water informed residents that pumps had failed and they were trying to get them restarted. They later tweeted that they were despatching a team to investigate and asked people to let them know if a burst water main was spotted.

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Billy Martin from Hampton advised fellow tweeters to drink whisky neat. Whilst Hammerton’s Ferry in Twickenham wished everyone a Merry Christmas and hoped we would all have a great day!

Tweeting Mitz suggested Merry Christmas #Thames Water.

As Father Christmas made an appearance at Hampton Pool the White Swan in Twickenham tweeted that they had lots of beer but no water!

Andrew Hall tweeted photographs of bottles of Twickenham Fine Ales “Naked Ladies” – but off licences and most shops were closed!! Mike Holland asked The Twickenham Tribune whether he could cook spuds in red wine.

Hampton tweeted that apparently Thames Water had sent “experienced” engineers to fix the pump, commenting that it was reassuring to know that they had not sent useless ones. The Twickenham Tribune joked that apparently engineers were travelling by Southern Rail so expect water to be fixed by February.

Daniel Emery tweeted the advantages of collecting rain water as it could be used to flush the loo and steam cook (presumably the rain water was not a few years old like mine!). The Hamptonite could not get bottled water and suggested buying bags of ice to melt down. By now the news had reached Rachel Kennedy at the BBC.

The Prince Albert tweeted an abundance of mince pies and beer and Duncan Stone was collecting all water that was left in the pipes. Teresa Read urged Londoners to keep the blitz spirit going and asked Thames Water about a rebate – tweeting “we only have alcohol!”

At this stage Thames Water tweeted that they had managed to get the pumps going and that we would slowly regain water. Hampton People shouted Hurrah! Happy Christmas to everyone and thanks to the experienced engineers!!

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The Twickenham Tribune was not convinced and said they were going to stick with whisky just to be safe.

Geraint in Whitton had still not got any water and asked Thames Water to turn on the water in Whitton as they had sprouts to cook.

As the water came back to homes in South West London The Twickenham Tribune advised Tweeters top tips for cooking without water: boil sprouts in ale, add whisky to turkey and make the gravy with vodka; Thomas Hoskins tweeted a photo of his supply of water – ingredients for a Bloody Mary.

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The Anglers pub in Teddington was thanked for handing out water to local residents. As panic water buying was reported in the few shops that were open Thames Water tweeted to joannethejenius that water should be restored soon.

Julie_twickers tweeted photographs of bottles of Bollinger and those of us who went to the pub were able to get larger but no lemonade!!

Christmas lunch turned into supper but at least we got the water back and a bath before the end of the day!