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Scilly cable antics

A blue swirl

Autumn 1869. There were great celebrations as the 31 mile long telecommunications cable was finally hauled up the shore and into the hut. The Scilly Isles now had a direct cable communication link to the mainland. But would it work? Several tests messages were sent and it was announced that all was fine. The journalists filed their story. The celebrations could begin.

Except it didn't actually work! The cable wasn't connected at all. The ship laying the cable had gone off course. Either that or someone's maths had been shaky. The cable had actually run out 5 miles off the islands. Not wanting to spoil the party, the captain ordered the line to be cut. Then, unknown to the crowd watching, they just dragged the cut off end of the cable up the beach and pretended to do the tests. The Scilly Isles weren't actually connected to Cornwall until the following year.