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80 powerful years of service

Two power workers who between them have clocked up 80 years in the industry have been honoured by their company.

From Press releases - 29 September 2014 12:00 AM

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Two power workers who between them have clocked up 80 years in the industry have been honoured by their company.

Tony Hartfield, a field engineer for electricity provider UK Power Networks, and Paul Porter, an overhead linesman, were among more than 100 apprentices who started on the same day in September 1974.

They were just 16 and full of enthusiasm – and they remain so today.

Tony, 56, who lives in Sutton and is based in Croydon, said: “I enjoy my work very much. I like the fact I spend half my time in the office and half out in the field where I can still be hands-on.

“I was very young when I joined what was then Seeboard as an apprentice electrician. I became a foreman, then a project engineer and then a field engineer. Seeboard was a fantastic company to work for with great camaraderie and UK Power Networks is just the same.”

Paul, also 56, is based in Guildford, where he also lives. He said: “I joined straight from school and spent four years as an apprentice linesman. I climbed the ladder and ended up as … a linesman!

“I love my job, otherwise I wouldn’t have stuck with it. I work out in the countryside and, while cold, wet days are not so nice, warm summer ones are. I like to see the wildlife, the flora and fauna.”

Paul has had some memorable moments in his long career, including coping with the effects of the Great Storm of 1987 and, more recently, those of last winter. He said: “Some jobs are easy – but some are right pigs but that’s my job. I like to keep the customers happy and I like to pass that on to the newcomers at work and share my knowledge.”

The men are now members of UK Power Networks’ 40+ Club for staff who have notched up 40 or more years’ continuous service. They joined others from other parts of the South East for a celebration champagne dinner at The Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London where they each received a plaque from Chief Executive Basil Scarsella.

Basil said: “I’m proud to have such loyal, long-serving staff who give so much to the company. Their experience and knowledge really is invaluable. We started the 40+ Club in 2012 to honour the contribution of long-serving colleagues such as these – and they most certainly deserve the recognition.”

UK Power Networks, which is Britain’s largest electricity network operator and delivers electricity to eight million people in London, the South East and East of England, employs 5,600 staff.