Partners are best of mates

PUBLISHED: 16:19 14 December 2006 | UPDATED: 13:39 04 May 2010

WE VE all heard the old adage couples who play together stay together - but Vince and Sue Burbidge from Sutton near Ely have worked successfully together for the past two years. They used to own a garage but now work as contractors for Ipswich-based BTS

WE'VE all heard the old adage 'couples who play together stay together' - but Vince and Sue Burbidge from Sutton near Ely have worked successfully together for the past two years.

They used to own a garage but now work as contractors for Ipswich-based BTS Group, the company responsible for protecting more than 40 per cent of the UK's power lines from vegetation and which recently acquired DPL, an electrical overhead line contractor company.

When customers contact BTS through their electricity company to complain that trees are interfering with power lines, causing them, for instance, to spark at night, it's Vince, 53, and Sue, 44, who visit the customer and then walk the line to see where the vegetation is getting out of hand. Once they have given the customer 15 days' notice and they are happy for the offending tree to be trimmed or felled, Sue and Vince are back with cherry-picker and chainsaws to clear the problem.

Sue - BTS's only female operative - is licensed to work under supervision of her husband and clears up after he has carried out the tree clearance work. She also prepares the work schedules and masterminds the paperwork.

Before joining BTS, Sue worked as a chicken sexer and as a glass-blower in a test tube factory but decided to join Vince as his linesman's mate when his partner left.

Vince and Sue, who have a grown-up daughter, Davina, get up at 6am and travel anywhere from 40 to 200 miles a day in their BTS Group van.

Sue said: "Not many couples get the opportunity to work together as closely as we do. Lots of people say they couldn't do it but we really enjoy each other's company and we get plenty of fresh air in the great outdoors so I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing."

Vince said: "Working with my wife is a bonus.

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