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28/06/2011: Worsley man retires after 47 years at business

Peter Leather from Worsley is testament to the value of a good apprenticeship scheme. This week he is set to start planning to leave Manchester for Bath as he retires from Electricity North West, the company he joined as an apprentice 47 years ago.

Peter was recruited by the company, then the North Western Electricity Board, in 1964 as a technical staff trainee. The Electricity Board sponsored his studies at Cambridge University, where he completed a degree in Electrical Engineering, followed by a further two years’ training with the company before joining it full time.

Having spent a large part of his career in South Lancashire extending, repairing and maintaining the electricity network, Peter knows the North West well and recalls many an occasion when quick actions were needed to keep the region connected to the power grid. Such as the time on his 35th birthday, when a fire beneath a bridge affected cables from the adjacent power station site, meaning swift actions to reconnect all the supplies were needed before the whole of Bolton was affected.

In the latter years of his career, Peter moved from fieldwork to an office job as network planning policy manager. He now intends to move again, bidding farewell to his native North West to enjoy his retirement with family in Bath.

"Electricity North West has changed in many ways since it was Norweb and more recently under United Utilities. But the main thing that remains the same is the staff, who are completely committed to their work behind the scenes in keeping everyone's homes and businesses powered up.” says Peter. “As in the case of the fire on my birthday, quick responses and a flexible approach is needed for this kind of work and I've thrived on it. Now though, it's time to put my feet up and retire to the spa town of Bath."

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