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.

Sunday, 22nd September 2019, 9:39 am
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.”

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.

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“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.

“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.