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Norwich linesman to bow out with award

A Norfolk power worker recognised in the tenth anniversary celebrations of his employer UK Power Networks, believes he owes his success to the Great Storm of October 1987 blowing in his favour.

From Press releases - 19 November 2020 12:00 AM

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Mick Page did not join the electricity industry until just after events 33 years ago - when hurricane winds of more than 100 miles an hour brought devastation to the East of England and damaged overhead power lines on an unprecedented scale.

Mick reckons it was the aftermath of that major event which prompted what was then Eastern Electricity to create more job openings and he was one of those who benefitted by securing a traineeship.

The 59-year-old from Aylsham has now worked in the Norwich region for more than three decades and won his company award in the ’10 year craftsperson’ category both for his work as a linesman and his mentoring of young apprentices.

Mick said: “I just missed the Great Storm of 1987, in fact I think I’ve probably got a lot to thank it for because I think after that they decided they were short of a few staff in certain areas and I was one of a number of people brought in during the year or so that followed.

“I’m due to retire next year and this award feels like a fitting end to 33 years with the company. I’m 60 next May and that will probably be when I choose to leave so it’s really nice to feel I’m going out on a high like this.

“I had family links to the industry, my late father Mervyn was a linesman and my brother Kenny was a jointer, he only retired himself two years’ ago. Between the three of us we have tallied up 110 years’ service for the company.

“I joined as an adult trainee. In the ten years or so after leaving school I’d had jobs in factories and on farms, but they weren’t really going anywhere, it felt liked I’d reached a dead end. This gave me a chance to change my future which I took. I still enjoy it now and it’s been a job for life.

“I always do everything I can to help mentor young people who come into the company now, including apprentices, because I remember getting that chance myself and how important it was to me.”

He added: “You can’t do this job on your own, it’s a team effort, so I want to thank everyone in the Norwich area who has helped support me.”

Pat Brooks, head of network operations for the East of England at UK Power Networks, said: “This award is truly deserved and reflects the contribution Mick has made.

“He has a great ‘can do’ attitude respected by his managers and peers alike. Over the years Mick has helped many craft attendants and apprentices become fine linesmen themselves.”

The company, which delivers electricity for 8.3 million homes and businesses across East Anglia, London and the South East, continues to run apprenticeships, with new starters due to join in 2021.