A POWER worker has sparked admiration for his long service with the industry by his employer UK Power Networks.

Stan Fenton joined Eastern Electricity as a jointer’s mate in 1979 and recalls being told then he could well have secured himself a job for life.

Four decades on and Stan, from Colchester, is now a distribution supply technician, an emergency response role which sees him first at the scene to deal with power issues.

To mark the milestone, Stan was presented with a certificate for his 40 years of service to the company.

The dedicated 61-year-old has worked or been on standby on Christmas Day for the past three decades and has volunteered to be on the rota again this year.

Stan said: “It’s funny the detail that stays with you but I can recall my start time was 8.30am on May 14, 1979 on my first day as a jointer’s mate in Colchester.

“I remember at the interview, the man who gave me the job saying ‘If you do things right, you’ll be here forever’, and he was right.

“I became a jointer for more than a decade before becoming the company’s first ever distribution supply technician, the job I still do now.

“The role is a first responder to any incident so your day can change very quickly if an emergency calls comes in to safely attend a fire or road traffic accident to assess the power issues.

“I have to assess what specialist team is needed there or whether I can fix it myself.

“A few weeks back it was just another quiet Saturday morning, when suddenly the call came in that a car had hit a pole in Manningtree and that’s when you have to respond quickly.”

He said the biggest change over 40 years has been the emphasis on safety.

Basil Scarsella, chief executive of UK Power Networks, said: “We like to recognise and celebrate the dedication and expertise of our employees, many of whom have lived and worked in the areas we serve for a long time.

“Their work keeping the lights on is usually carried out behind the scenes, but it is valuable in helping every day lives run smoothly and contributing to the success of local economies.”

UK Power Networks has more than 400 employees with over 40 years service.