Thursday 3 Apr 2003
ST BEES JOBS ARE “BEE’S KNEES” FOR RAIL COUPLE
- Region & Route:
It wouldn’t suit everyone but Whitehaven couple Gillian and Paul Halcrow reckon they have found their ideal jobs – working for Network Rail in the same signal box on opposite shifts so they hardly see each other! It may seem a bizarre lifestyle to most people but the couple, who have been happily married for eight years, say it has definite benefits for them.
Gillian has been a signaller in St Bees signal box on the Cumbria coast line for 11 years and absolutely loves her job. In fact she thinks it’s so good that when a vacancy came up in the same signal box she persuaded husband Paul to apply for it, coaching him through his exams until he qualified.
Paul had previously been a contract worker in Sellafield but with it being contract work there was no stability, unlike being on the payroll at Network Rail, which is actively recruiting signallers. Also, with both Gillian and Paul being at work at the same time, they had to arrange and pay for a child minder to look after children Natalie (seven) and Bradley (five).
Now they can save both the hassle of getting child minders to fit round their work patterns and the cost of someone to look after their children.
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St Bees – 1
The signal box is open from 6.15 in the morning until just after 8.30 at night, so when one of the ‘team’ is on duty the other one is at home looking after the children and doing the chores. At lunchtime when the morning shift comes to a close, they simply swap roles.
Said Gillian: “This is the ideal situation for us. We live and work in a beautiful part of the country, we love being signallers and we don’t have to sort out child minders. I would thoroughly recommend the job to others.”
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
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