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Two Bath men are celebrating after each clocking up an impressive 40 years of working in the gas industry – having started their apprenticeships the very same day at the age of 16.

Clive Book and Ian Seek, both 56 and from Bath, are celebrating the career milestone after first meeting at the start of their apprenticeship in 1977 having both left school to pursue a ‘hands on’ career. They have worked in the gas industry ever since and transferred to gas emergency and pipeline service Wales & West Utilities when the company was formed in 2005. They now play pivotal roles in the company’s operations.

(L-R) Ian Seek and Clive book celebrate clocking up 40 years of industry service

Clive has been Wales & West Utilities Head of Emergency Services since 2005. In this role he leads the company’s Gas Emergency Service team across Wales and the south west of England, responding to gas leaks and other gas emergencies.

Clive said:

“To reach 40 years of service is quite an accomplishment and it may sound like a cliché but it is the variety of roles within the industry which has kept me excited day in, day out. No two days are the same and it’s great to work alongside colleagues sharing the same commitment – making sure the communities we serve receive a safe and reliable gas supply, while delivering the outstanding levels of service our customers expect .”

Ian works alongside Clive as the Gas Emergency Service Manager for Bristol and Severnside, looking after the team of engineers and managers that deliver the gas emergency service from Gloucester to Swindon and Bristol.

Ian added:

“It really doesn’t seem like 40 years ago that Clive and I turned up on the same day to start work in the industry and it’s great that we are working together after all these years. Things have certainly changed in the time that we’ve been working. In 2017 a gas engineer is just as likely to use a smartphone as a spanner! But our priorities remain the same – keeping the gas flowing, our customers and colleagues safe and make sure our costs and contribution to our customers’ bills is as low as possible.”

Wales & West Utilities Director of Operations Andrew Hopkins added:

“Ian and Clive are essential members of our team and we’re proud of the work they do to keep communities we serve safe and warm. It’s unusual to see two individuals start their careers on the same day and still be working together after all these years and we’d like to congratulate them on reaching a significant milestone and thank them for their continued hard work. They have both built up a huge amount of knowledge during their careers – and we’re glad they’ll will be with us for a little while yet, passing their experience on to our managers of the future”

Wales & West Utilities was recently re-accredited by the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) as achieving its ServiceMark with Distinction. The company has successfully demonstrated meeting the demanding national customer service standard, scoring considerably higher than the utility sector benchmark and more than sector leading companies like Amazon and John Lewis.

The company is also the first gas network to have been recognised for meeting requirements, in line with the exacting British Standard 18477, for its work to help the most vulnerable.

Wales & West Utilities has a team of more than 1000 trained and experienced engineers to help serve the 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales that rely on its gas emergency and pipeline services. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night. 

Our team is also working on a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being upgraded to new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.