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By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy

Life in the famously grim north of England became even more appalling today following a massive Sky broadband outage.

Sky's service via a number of exchanges across the North West has collapsed, crippling broadband connections for customers living in the badlands surrounding Manchester and Liverpool.

The provider said the issue was "caused by complications with planned network maintenance".

"Engineers are on site and work to fix the issue is still on-going," it added.

The list of affected places includes Eccles, home of the famous Eccles Cake. However, we doubt production of this iconic pastry has been affected, as it seems unlikely that Eccles factories have to Google a recipe for the only thing they bake.

Most of the other places affected are obscure northern towns and villages. We Googled a few of them to save you the trouble.

Life is pretty tough in the Saxon-named village of Frodsham, where the last cinema closed in 1961 following a final screening of Carry on Regardless. Now the level of entertainment on offer has plunged even further after Sky's outage.

An area called Stepping Hill was also hit, but it isn't even important enough to warrant a Wikipedia entry. This desolate part of the north was briefly famous for a series of poisoning murders at its hospital.

Wythenshawe is notable for a peat bog while Caldy, Wikipedia tells us, is a "small affluent town" with just one bus. It was the home of Olaf Stapledon, a science fiction author.

The name Ramsbottom actually comes from the old English words ramm and botm, which together mean "valley of the ram". It is not named after a sheep's bum, sadly.

Here is the full list of affected places.

Bromborough, Eastham, Neston, Birkenhead, Claughton, Mountwood, Padgate, Frodsham, Manley, Manor Park, Runcorn East, Runcorn Main, Rock Ferry, Wallasey, Arrowebrook, Heswall, Hoylake, Irby, Ramsbottom, Tottington, Bury, Denton, Hyde, Pendleton, Eccles, Heaton Moor, Disley, Stepping Hill, Stockport, Swinton, Walkden, Wythenshawe, Alderley Edge, Chelford, Mobberley and Wimslow.

We told Sky that the good people of Mobberley and Padgate needed to know when they could once again start looking at cat pictures.

"We wouldn't want to let them down," came the reply.

Are you brave enough to live in the grim north? Get in touch and let us know about horrific it is. The outage, we mean. ®

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