Thank you to the people of Ferrybridge C

A blog by Mick Gee, Ferrybridge C's Station Manager

Ferrybridge has always been part of my life. We could see its towers from my childhood home and I’m the second generation of my family to work here. I arrived as a Craft Apprentice in 1977 and I finish as Station Manager almost 40 years later.

Since becoming Station Manager in 2008 I’ve met some great people who are the real heroes of this place. So I want to acknowledge the amazing contribution from all those who’ve been part of the ‘Ferrybridge family,’ as we come to closure day.

I also want to thank the local community for their support over the years. People have always valued our contribution to the local economy and our role within the community. We’ve always tried to adopt a ‘doors open’ approach whenever we can. Indeed, one open weekend we hosted back in 1991 drew no less than 21,000 people.

People often ask me why Ferrybridge is a special place to work and the answer is simple: the people. The culture here has always been one of ‘helping without asking’ and we’re all part of a big team rather than a collection of individuals. We know contractors like coming here because they know we keep them safe. It’s in our DNA.

Ferrybridge has been an iconic landmark visible from the A1 or M62 or to pilots who use the towers to guide their planes home. But what goes on inside the site is what counts. So ‘Thank You’ to all those who have contributed to our 50 years of service.

Ferrybridge began generating back in 1966 and quickly proved itself a reliable workhorse that could run day and night. In 1973 Unit 2 ran for eight months continuously – a record at the time. Privatisation in 1989 changed the landscape of the energy industry so we had to become flexible as well as reliable.

None of us will ever forget the fire we had on site in July 2014. Thankfully, our safety procedures stood up to the test and no-one was injured.

Above all it’s the social history that resonates most at this time. At its height Ferrybridge employed well over 800 people and provided lifelong careers for many employees across generations. The camaraderie of working in close-knit teams on shifts at all hours of the day, or night, meant people forged lifelong friendships along the way.

So it is appropriate that we marked the desynchronisation of our last unit, Unit 3, with a lunchtime gathering for staff in the control room last week [March 23rd]. This week sees the formal closure of the station on March 31st. Beyond that decommissioning work will be the central focus and our commitment to the station and the local area will be as strong as ever.

Thank you everyone at Ferrybridge C, past and present, for your contribution to 50 years of proud service.

Picture: Three members of the 'Ferrybridge Family'. Ian Pycock, Ken Valentine and Mike Till (left to right)