'I wouldn't want to live had it continued': 92-year-old survives week without power

Cecil told ITV Tyne Tees that at one point he became so despondent that he lost the will to live

A 92-year-old from Cockfield in County Durham has described the ordeal of living for a week without power after Storm Arwen struck.

John Cecil Alderson, or Cecil, spent seven lonely days and sub-zero nights unable to cook, wash or watch television.

Though an avid reader, short days meant he spent most of his time in total darkness - confined to his bedroom under several blankets.

A County Durham house (not Cecil's) virtually encased in ice after the storm hit.

Speaking to ITV News Tyne Tess, Cecil described how he became so despondent that he lost the will to live.

"If someone had said, well take that tablet and... I think that it gets to the stage where I would have thought about it," he said.

"I wouldn't want to live had it continued.

"I've never experienced anything like that before. Lying in bed's all very well, but again, there's no heating on, no lighting or anything.

"You're virtually in the darkness from four o'clock to eight o'clock the next morning."

Cecil has lived alone since his wife of 50 years, Miranda, passed away.

He says if not for the selflessness of his community, the loneliness and bitter cold would have been too much to bear over the past week.

Neighbours and friends have delivered meals, sourced heat generators and provided much-needed company.

Cecil is critical of the government and local authorities for "not doing enough" and believes electricity cables should be placed underground to prevent events like this from happening again.

But for now, since his power returned on Saturday, he is just enjoying the many things he was deprived of in the aftermath of the storm.