Man who helped restore power to Suffolk after 1987 storms set to retire

Joe Freezer (right) collected his long service award at a ceremony and is now retiring from UK Power

Joe Freezer (right) collected his long service award at a ceremony and is now retiring from UK Power Networks following a 52 year career. Picture: UK POWER - Credit: Archant

He started working the same year that England won the world cup, the BBC first broadcast in colour and the first credit card was launched in the UK, but now, after five decades of service, this power worker from Stonham Aspal is retiring.

Joe Freezer began working for UK Power Networks, who own and operate the electricity network delivering power to 8.3million properties across the East, South East and London, in 1966 when he was only 18.

He joined what was then named Eastern Electricity, initially as a labourer before training as a linesman, a job he has done in all weathers for 52 years, most recently as a member of the hot glove team.

His job has been to maintain and upgrade power lines for customers on the high voltage network across Suffolk and he admits he will miss going to work each day when he enters retirement at the end of this month.

Mr Freezer, said: “I’ve been doing the job for a long while, but I’ve never stopped enjoying it. I will miss the people I work alongside especially because there’s great camaraderie.

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“I’ve always taken pride in the work we do to restore power to households and I’ve still got strong memories of how much the public thanked us for our work during the great storm of 1987.”

Recommending the career to others, he added: “Our company has an excellent apprenticeship scheme which is recruiting just now and I would recommend any young person to get into the industry because it’s given me a long and happy career.”

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When asked what he would like to do now that he is retiring, Mr Freezer said: “I’ve got a few things I want to do with family in retirement, including spending time in a caravan we have bought, but I will miss helping the community and my work colleagues.”

Mr Freezer has been presented with a certificate of long service by UK Power Networks.

Phil Baker, Operations manager for UK Power Networks for Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich, added: “Joe is a tremendous character who is well-liked by everyone he works with.

“He has made a fantastic contribution to the company, a great professional who knows every aspect of his job, but while he will be sorely missed we all wish him a long and happy retirement.”

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