Cliff’s parting gas safety message to Wigan householders

A retiring emergency gas engineer has voiced concern that Wigan householders are endangering their homes and lives by putting decor fashion over commonsense safety precautions.
Cliff WhitfieldCliff Whitfield
Cliff Whitfield

Supporting Gas Safety Week which ends tomorrow, Cliff Whitfield says there’s one thing astonishes him every time he gets to a property where a potential gas leak has been reported: lit decorative candles!

“You wouldn’t believe how many times it happens,” said the 68-year-old Cadent engineer with 50 years’ experience under his belt. “If there’s even a hint of gas, we advise no naked flames, but then you turn up and you see candles still lit.”

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Cliff works in a patch that covers Wigan, Leigh and surrounding areas. As he bows out and into retirement, he is keen to gift Cadent his official Deed of Apprenticeship – the document signed, and officially sealed, on his 16th birthday in 1968.

“The gas network intends to ensure it has pride of place on display, as an amazing piece of its history.

“Where I grew up, there were two options if you wanted a job; the glass industry or going down the pits,” said Cliff.

“At school we had a visitor from the North West Gas Board and after completing some tests I was invited to an interview with my best friend before we were both offered apprenticeships.

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“When I was younger I knew two engineers who worked for the Gas Board and they always told me it was a good job, I still feel like that rings true today.”

Cadent recruits around 50 new apprentices every year.