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Saved in the 'Nick' of Time

Release Date: 28/07/2011

Quick-thinking ELECSA member recognised as one of Britain’s top tradesmen.
ELECSA member Nick Blakeley has officially become one Britain’s top tradesman after his attention to health and safety was recognised in national award.

The Anglesey electrician was named as a top 10 finalist out of over 3,000 entries in a national competition organised by trade retailer Screwfix.

Although he did not manage to take home the national title and a brand new Ford van, Nick who only launched his own business – Nick Blakely Electrical - three years ago, was delighted with the early recognition.

Helped in the business by his daughter Suzy and nephew Jonathan, Nick, from Benllech, Anglesey, prides himself on listening to his customers and his attention to health and safety. So much so that on one recent job Nick’s skills were put to the test when he discovered that an entire house pipe work and bath was live due to  a fault in the hot water  system - risking the family’s life every time they even washed their hands. 

Nick comments: “I arrived at a call-out to find a woman sitting on the floor shaking. The lady went to take a bath, which could have killed her. There was a fault with the immersion heater causing a short circuit which blew the earth wire apart and welded the live to the immersion heater metal work,causing all the pipe work in the house to become live ,which meant that as soon as she touched the tap and put her foot in the bath tub at the same time, she had a huge electric shock. It’s a miracle she wasn’t killed.” 

“The bonding to the water was there but had never been connected, if it had been, the protective device would have operated and she wouldn’t have received the shock. It was an old BS3036 board with no RCD protection. It does make you realise the importance of Bonding and RCDs.”

Nick has also so far this year also received two certificates of appreciation for voluntary work. The first one was for the Guide Association for looking after the electrical installation and maintenance of the Guide House in Moelfre free of charge, and the second was granted in recognition of Volunteers Week from the Welsh Assembly Government for his outstanding contribution looking after the maintenance of the hall and electrical works at the Benllech Community and Ex-Serviceman’s Hall. This involved also providing his services for lighting and PA's for shows and events free of charge.

“As you can imagine, I’m very touched by the way people have appreciated my efforts, which I feel is one way to put things back into the community. I’m really touched to have this great team behind me and it’s a pleasure working with them all on voluntary projects such as is the annual Benllech Community Hall Christmas Market where Jonathan, Suzy and another member of my team Brian Comber, a professional cameraman by trade, enjoy spending a day in December setting up lighting for the annual event.”

Originally from Wellington in Shropshire, Nick, who was a mobile DJ in his younger days, was certainly a hit with the family when he fixed the fault and made sure they were safe from another nasty shock.  As part of the judging process, Nick was invited to Silverstone to meet the judging panel at the finalists’ day and was treated to a tour of the iconic home of British Formula One.

An ELECSA member for three years since becoming self-employed, Nick added: “With so many entries to the competition, making the final of Britain’s Top Tradesman was a real honour.”

A former field maintenance engineer for Clinton Cards, Nick has now developed a strong commercial and domestic business serving a large part of Wales with some prestigious clients including North Wales Hospice At Home.

With an eye on the future, Nick is looking to develop into the microgeneration business through an ELECSA MCS.

Sarah Fry, business development manager for ELECSA said: “We are very proud of Nick. He is an ambassador for the industry and it is excellent that his attention to detail has been recognised at a national level. Nick represents thousands of hard – working electricians who, although their talents are not always as highly recognised, help keep people safe whether they are at home or at work.”

John Mewett, Marketing Director at Screwfix, said: “At Screwfix we meet hundreds of tradesmen every day in our trade counters and we understand how hard they work and the efforts they go to in order to get the job done to the highest standard, so it is great to be able to highlight the good work that is being done up and down the country with Britain’s Top Tradesman.

“We were overwhelmed by the response and have enjoyed hearing some impressive stories of exceptional workmanship and great customer service along the way. Nick and all our finalists demonstrated their willingness to go the extra mile to get the job done and it was certainly no easy task to pick the winner.”
The judging panel included representatives from Screwfix, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) and NICEIC.