A 67-YEAR-old overhead linesman from Llandysul who still climbs electricity poles proves people don’t have a ‘best before’ date.

Les Davies, 67, who lives in Capel Dewi, Llandysul, is based at Western Power Distribution’s Llanfihangel-ar-Arth depot.

The grandfather-of-two and father-of-three works five days a week, climbing 12-metre-high wooden poles as part of his job.

“In the recent storms I worked through the night until the early hours, climbing between the lightning,” said Les, who’s worked in the industry for 41 years and is grandfather to Louie, 10 months, and Lydia, two months.

“Strong winds can blow trees onto lines and houses lose power so it’s my job to get it back as quickly as possible.

“Some people may think it’s scary being harnessed at the top of a pole in the middle of the night with a head torch, but I’m used to it.

“My workmates are roughly 40 years younger than me but they keep me young and my job keeps me fit. We help each other out. Young people are sharp and learn quickly but so can I.

“I use an iPad for work - it makes life easier. It’s a tough job but I love it and I’ve never wanted to leave. I love working outside and doing an important job.”

Electricity distributor Western Power Distribution (WPD) is backing a Welsh Government campaign to encourage more businesses to invest in older workers.

The company in Wales is supporting ‘People Don’t Have a ‘Best Before’ Date’, which is equipping business owners with the tools they need to build an all age workforce.

“When you’re working with 132,000 volts you need a safe pair of hands,” said

his manager Phil Davies, WPD’s network services manager for Wales, who himself is retiring this year after 54 years with the company.

“You don’t get many lifetime jobs any more but this industry has a track record of holding onto people

“Les is well respected as a linesman in west Wales and brings long-term experience and knowledge which helps develop our apprentices and less experienced craftsmen, and provides a steadying influence in difficult situations.”

Phil, 69, based in Swansea and Church Village, near Pontypridd, joined the company himself as a 15-year-old apprentice and has worked his way up to senior manager.

He added: “We have 16-year-olds working here, and at the other end, nobody gets pushed out when they reach 60. We also have a 71-year-old driving lorries. We all work as part of a team and there’s plenty of support to encourage people to continue working.”