Meet the man who stayed working in the same industry for 40 years - 38 years longer than he planned to do when he first joined

Celebrating 40 years service, Martin Le Roux (left) receives his certificate from Basil Scarsella, c

Celebrating 40 years service, Martin Le Roux (left) receives his certificate from Basil Scarsella, chief executive of UK Power Networks. Picture; NIGEL BOWLES - Credit: Archant

A power worker from Ely has had his 40 year career with the industry recognised by employer UK Power Networks.

Martin Le Roux joined Eastern Electricity as a jointer's mate back in 1979 anticipating he might only stay a year or two.

Some four decades on he is now a field engineer, a role far removed from his work in farming before he joined the electricity industry.

Martin, 64, said: "To reach 40 years here feels pretty astounding. To be honest, back in 1979 when I joined I thought I'd only stay for a couple of years. I planned to move on, but it's been 38 years longer than planned and that's because I've found such a good employer.

"Back in 1979 I was 24 and had worked as a farm labourer for very little money. I couldn't believe my first pay cheque as a cable layer, I was gobsmacked relative to what I'd been paid previously in the agricultural industry."

He said: "I had first thought about joining the RAF when I was younger, but had some health issues which prevented that, but I can't say I've got any regrets at all at how it's turned out for me.

"I still enjoy the challenge of this job, because every day is different and throws up new things to tackle. It's the variety of the role that I like the most as no two jobs are the same and that keeps you interested.

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"I'm part of a good team and like to offer advice to youngsters when I can; it's a good bunch of people to be involved with. Everyone here is really dedicated to doing their jobs the best they can and I like that."

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 very valuable in helping everyday lives run smoothly and contributing to the success of local economies."

The company which keeps the lights on for more than 18million people, has over 400 employees with over 40 years' service and holds an annual event for those who reach the milestone.

The company, which delivers electricity for 8.3 million homes and businesses across East Anglia, London and the South East, invites staff who have given 40 years of continuous service to join a 40+ Club.