I found out from Western Power where the fault was and as it was only 300 yards away, ventured up the road to have a look.
There was definite smoke damage at the front of one of the houses and a Western Power truck was parked outside with the driver seemingly dozing inside the cab.
He told me that they couldn't do a thing until the householder arrived as they needed access inside the house to trace the problem. I got the impression that he thought somebody had been diverting electricity.
Anyway, I made a comment that it could go on for a while and he said:-
"I'll give it an hour and if the householder hasn't turned up, I'll get the gaffer to arrange for a Magistrate's warrant of entry. We can't have this many houses off power for very long"
"Mind you" he mused, "God knows how long that will take either. You'd be lucky to get a f***ing Magistrate to sign a warrant this time of night. They just can't be arsed... unless their power was off as well. Then they'd be quick enough"
I agreed that such a circumstance would probably engender a rapid and enthusiastic response.