Phone service finally restored in Bellingham

A Northumberland village left without mobile phone service for over two weeks finally had it restored yesterday

The village of Bellingham in Northumberland
The village of Bellingham in Northumberland

A Northumberland village left without mobile phone service for over two weeks finally had it restored yesterday.

Bellingham had had no reception since June 16, with the local MP having taken up the issue.

But to the relief of its 1,500 or so residents, businesses and tourists who had suffered, the service was restored yesterday after repairs to a mast.

Villagers claim their community is served by just one provider, Everything Everywhere (EE).

On June 16, reception was lost.

Residents say they had had no prior warning of any pre-planned works which would require the service to be shut down.

Some have contacted EE since but have been given different explanations for the disruption.

Villagers say they have had to travel up to five miles out of Bellingham to get a signal.

Some have managed to obtain refunds from the provider.

Peter Norman, 45, of Russell Terrace, pays £33 a month for his mobile phone and relies on it to speak to his place of work and family members.

He said: “You do not realise how much you rely on a mobile phone until you lose it.”

Amanda Corbett, manager of the village’s Coop, said the disruption had had an impact on business.

She added: “We have had a lot of tourists in the shop, they are just cut off because they have their mobile phones with them because a lot of the holiday homes do not have telephones in.

“They can not contact anybody.”

Richard Cooper, bar manager at the village’s Cheviot Hotel, said it has had “quite a few disgruntled customers.”

The issue was raised with EE’s chief executive by Hexham MP Guy Opperman, after he was alerted by Bellingham county councillor John Riddle.

The MP called the disruption “simply unacceptable.” However, the service returned at around 2pm yesterday.

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