Phone lifeline on the blink

Eileen Houghton, 84. of Occupation Lane, Singleton
Eileen Houghton, 84. of Occupation Lane, Singleton
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An isolated pensioner has slammed phone bosses after she was left with a useless emergency cord because the telephone line in her house was disconnected.

Worried Eileen Houghton, 84, lives alone in Singleton, and needs the phone line incase she has to alert the emergency services by pressing a buzzer she keeps around her neck.

Neighbours of Mrs Houghton have taken it upon themselves to contact BT about the phone line, but claim they have been told installation re-connection dates which never materialise.

Today BT said the line would now be working again – after being contacted by The Gazette.

The great-grandmother said: “It’s an absolute nightmare.

“I can’t use my cord and if anything happens to me while this is going on I can’t call anyone.

“It’s very difficult and my daughter is playing hell about it.

“Everyone i has called up about it, but they are not telling us when it’s coming back on.

“I’ve got very good neighbours, but if I didn’t have them I don’t know what I’d do.”

The great-grandmother of four moved into the home in 1989 and has three handsets in her house, which are all connected to the emergency button worn around her neck.

Mrs Houghton, who used to run an ironing business, is regularly visited by her neighbours who help her keep in contact with members of her family.

However, she recently had a fall and was only able to get back up when her neighbours rushed to help her.

She added: “The thing about living round here is it’s lovely, but you are way out and if you have no means of transport the only thing we can do is send for an ambulance.

“I was going out the other day and fell off my scooter, but fortunately two neighbours saw what happened and came out to help.

“If I had a heart attack I would be on the floor, and there’s nothing I could do.”

After The Gazette contacted BT, the firm said the cord should now be working again.

A spokesman said: “We are working urgently to put in 305 metres of new cable.

“We will work through the night to ensure Eileen gets her line back.

“Our engineers will work flat out to complete the job by Monday.”