Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

King’s Lynn electricity worker Martin Shirley retires after ‘lovely’ five decades of work

A Lynn electricity worker whose job allowed him to meet royalty is retiring after more than half a century.

Martin Shirley, who called it a day on his 75th birthday, said: “I’ve had a lovely time working in the electricity industry.”

Colleagues at the UK Power Networks depot in Lynn held a presentation and buffet for Martin on his final day at work today.

A job for life which allowed him to meet royalty, Martin Shirley stands down after half a century.
A job for life which allowed him to meet royalty, Martin Shirley stands down after half a century.

Looking back, he said: “I’ve said many times the Lynn yard is a bit of a special place, we get on ever so well with each other and work well as a team. The area is so lovely and I go out driving around some of the nicest countryside such as Sandringham and Holkham. You don’t get to do that in many jobs.”

Martin would get up at 5am every day to take his dogs out on walks before arriving at the UK Power Networks depot for 7am.

He often worked on the Sandringham Estate where he spoke with Prince Phillip, the Queen Mother and the Queen Elizabeth II.

Field staff supervisor David Hicks said: “Martin’s longevity working in the electricity industry is a testament to just how much he loves coming to work every day. He has amassed over 50 years worth of experience and knowledge during his career and has trained and mentored many colleagues during that time.

“An outstanding ambassador for the company, Martin is at his best when engaging with customers on site. We would like to thank Martin not only for his service and camaraderie, but also for his endless supply of amusing anecdotes and stories.”

Martin joined the former Eastern Electricity back in June 1972 after starting as a labourer where he was trained to work on both underground and overhead cables.

Over the many years he has been based at the Lynn depot, Martin’s jobs included installing new services, moving and installing meters and repairing faults. More recently he has looked after the stores.

He also remembers when Lynn was flooded back in 1978 and he was one of the teams that got called out for urgent repairs. “We went into the marshland, it was really gusty, and the roof of a barn had attached itself to cables and a pole, then the pole went over and the roof just disappeared into the distance.”

Martin will have plenty to do when he retires as he and his wife, Amanda, bought a bungalow two years ago for them and their five cats and four dogs. The house needs renovation work which he says will keep him busy.

Martin is also well known in the area for gliding across the dance floor as he used to be a professional ballroom dancer and then taught old time, modern and sequence dancing in the area.

Martin’s message to young people looking for a career in the electricity industry is: “If you work hard and do the training you have a job for life anywhere in the world, I’ve had a lovely time.”

Reporting by Matthew Hill...

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More