bisley

A BISLEY electricity worker is celebrating more than four decades of long service.

Rhett Wetton, 64, is a compliance officer with UK Power Networks, which owns and maintains power supplies in the South East, London and East of England.

Rhett trained as an underground cable jointer and was a first responder at the scene of power cuts before transferring to a safety-critical role, inspecting and testing the kit used by engineers to keep the lights on.

LONG SERVICE – Rhett Wetton

“I enjoy the job, love the people I work with and have a good boss. I can’t decide when I will retire because I’m still enjoying the work and it’s the perfect job as far as I’m concerned,” Rhett said.

 “The 1987 hurricane sticks out in my mind as particularly memorable because we worked for days on end to restore power supplies in our communities any way we could.

 “The industry’s safety standards have changed dramatically. People don’t take chances, they work by the book and that’s a very good thing. Standards are very high and they need to be.

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.”

Rhett is among 59 UK Power Networks employees across the South East and London to have reached their 40th or 50th anniversaries this year.

WHILE children revelled in a winter Woking wonderland as schools closed early, people travelling to and from work were battling the blizzards.

Angry commuters were left frustrated by South West Trains’ revised timetables.

But even though service alterations were made before a single flake of snow had fallen, councillor Ann-Marie Barker reckons SWT’s pre-emptive action just about struck the right balance.

She said: “I asked a few people about the changes when they were announced on Thursday and I got mixed reviews. There was a lot of division and some people thought it was a terrible idea to be cancelling trains before the snow had hit.

HAVING A BALL - Liz Perera with sons Oliver, four, and William, seven

HAVING A BALL – Liz Perera with sons Oliver, four, and William, seven

“There were no trains first thing on Friday and only two an hour after that, as opposed to four or five.

“On balance it makes sense to run less trains if they can assure they run on time. I think a lot of people had decided not to go into work on Monday so it would have been easier to cope.”

When the snow did fall on Friday, it came down fast and furiously.

Schools across the borough were hit by closures, resulting in a white nightmare for working parents but powdered delight for youngsters.

As the snow eased on Sunday and Monday, temperatures remained icy and it wasn’t much joy for students sitting exams who were forced to battle their way to school or college, otherwise they would have to wait until the summer to take them.

Surrey Police’s Nicola Bur-ress confirmed that, despite early warnings, the force had an influx of calls as icy roads got the better of Woking’s drivers.

A statement said: “Without going through every call, we did experience an increase in the number of calls reporting collisions due to snow and ice on Friday – our advice to motorists was not to travel unless absolutely essential.”

The snow was back with a vengeance on Tuesday evening, with Woking FC having to cancel their game despite fans pitching up on Monday to help clear the Kingfield ground.

PRISON BREAK - the trio camped out on the roof for hours

PRISON BREAK – the trio camped out on the roof for hours

THREE lags at Coldingley Prison will be blowing their own trumpets after escaping on to the roof amid embarrassing scenes at the category C prison.

The trio of prisoners have been camped on the roof of the complex in Shaftesbury Road, Bisley, for more than six hours with police and wardens powerless to remove them.

I think they were just up there for a laugh but I have no idea where he got the trumpet from

One of the prisoners even managed to smuggle a trumpet on to the roof with him and spent much of Monday evening letting nearby residents know of his success.

Eye-witness Sarah-Jayne Cook, 24, said the prisoners were playing up to the crowd of locals who had left their homes to watch the performance.

She said: “At first we thought it might be builders but then we realised they were prisoners.

“They were sort of skipping back and forth and waving to their audience – they had a little wooden ladder with them but I doubt that is how they got up there.

“They weren’t abusive to the crowd at all – I think they were just up there for a laugh but I have no idea where he got the trumpet from.”

Coldingley prison officials were unavailable for comment.

For the full story, pick up Thursday’s Woking News & Mail.