Fish swimming in hole where Spalding “sparks” was working

Fred Goodyear celebrates 50 years in the electricity industry. ANL-160509-163146001
Fred Goodyear celebrates 50 years in the electricity industry. ANL-160509-163146001

A Spalding electricity worker has been talking about the day live fish were swimming in the hole where he was working on a cable joint.

Fred Goodyear, who works as a cable jointer with Western Power Distribution (WPD), has just been honoured for 50 years’ service in the industry. Fred joined the company as a 16-year-old in 1966.

He started at the depot in Flax Mills in Pinchbeck and has worked in the region ever since.

Over the years Fred has also spent a short stint working as a meter reader and has trained as a multi-skilled craftsman to work on overhead power lines and in substations.

Although always based in Spalding, Fred and his colleagues often help restore supplies in other areas of the country if they are worse affected when there are storms.

Fred said: “On one occasion when we helped out in South Warwickshire, the River Avon had flooded and there were live fish swimming in the hole where we were working on a cable joint. I’ve never seen 
anything like that in all my time.”

Fred was presented with a certificate to mark his half century by the company’s South Lincolnshire distribution manager Ian Brooks and network services manager Simon Pett.

Fred’s team-mates were there to congratulate him.

He said the industry has changed, particularly as far as health and safety is concerned.

“When I started, we didn’t have all of the personal protective clothing that we have now that’s part of our live jointing work,” he said. “In those days, if you made a mistake you learned the hard way and you wouldn’t do it again. Thankfully, health and safety has come on a lot over the years.”

Although he’s notched up 50 years, Fred still has a little while to go before he bows out.

He is planning to retire next February, to spend more time with his wife Angie, and to focus on his garden and on DIY.

The couple are also planning to buy a static caravan at their favourite campsite near the coast.

Fred said: “I’ve had a good innings and I’m really pleased that I’ve achieved my ultimate goal of reaching fifty years’ service, but I’m looking forward to my retirement now.”