As regular readers of our news section will know, we’re all about taking the Monty Python approach to the stories we bring you, and prefer to always look on the bright side of life.
After all, aren’t there enough stories out there of economic downturn, doom, gloom, and general despair already?
We certainly think so, which is why we love nothing more than wading through the mire of negative news and finding those stories that really warm our hearts or, at the very least, give us a right good laugh.
With that in mind, we’d like to welcome you to the very first of a brand new, regular feature, we like to call Tales of The Trade, where we round up the most inspiring stories about tradesmen from across the globe.
Grab yourself a cuppa then, and let’s dive in.
Electrician helps elderly couple beat the winter chill
We start our journey into the world of all things uplifting by heading up north to Wigan, Greater Manchester, where electrician Karl Mather saved Christmas for one elderly couple after their heading system broke.
Karl, who runs KDM Electrical, was originally contacted by Age Concern to repair the system, belonging to a couple in their 80s.
Yet after visiting the couple, the 36-year-old discovered that not only was the system in such poor condition that it couldn’t be fixed, but that the couple – one of whom lived with dementia – couldn’t afford to pay for a replacement.
After first buying the couple a portable heater to keep them warm, Karl also purchased a brand new system and installed it, all free of charge.
“The wife was getting upset and they were talking about missing some bills to pay for it,” Karl told the Wigan Evening Post, “so I just decided to write it off as an early Christmas present to myself, and told the couple that Age Concern had received a grant to pay for the heater and my time.”
The good deed didn’t go unnoticed either. Electrical contracting governing body, the NICEIC, heard of Karl’s generosity via one of his other clients and paid for all his costs. Now, doesn’t that just warm your heart?
Construction business owners dig neighbours out of the snow
The UK isn’t the only place where the harsh winter weather has been posing some serious problems.
Over in Atlantic City, New Jersey, a freak snowstorm left many elderly residents unable to leave their home.
Enter tradesman, Curtis Middleton of Middleton Construction and local concrete supplier Bill Hamilton, who both stepped in to help.
Armed with snowblowers and shovels, the duo – along with several other local residents – worked until the early hours of the morning to clear the snow and make the area safe for their elderly neighbours to get out.
Builders give homeless woman the gift of a luxury hotel room
From Atlantic City to Bristol next, with more tales of builders doing the industry proud by lending a helping hand to some of society’s most vulnerable.
Back in late December, we reported on the story of Roger Hartigan, Joe Rich, David Harrison, three colleagues from the South West city who put their work Christmas do on hold to give one homeless woman the gift of a good, warm night’s sleep.
The trio became concerned after speaking to the 71-year-old woman and learning that she had spent the past 18 years out on the streets.
Roger, Joe, and David chipped in to pay for a four-star hotel room in one of the most picturesque parts of the city.
“She was just so vulnerable – there was no way I could leave her. We just wanted to make sure she was safe,” said Roger, “we were out on our Christmas do, but once we saw her she became our priority.”
Now if that’s not the perfect example of the true spirit of Christmas, we don’t know what is!
Teen takes on the world at international competition
If much of the media is to be believed, today’s young people are lazy, entitled, and unmotivated.
But try telling that to 19-year-old Matthew Barton, who bucked the stereotype and proved that the next generation of tradesman are more than up to the task when he earned a place at the prestigious WorldSkills Finals in Russia.
As we reported recently, the Birmingham youngster won bronze in the UK Final of the competition by installing both a central heating system and a hot/cold water system within a limited amount of time.
We’re sure you’ll join us in wishing Matthew the best of luck in the finals, and congratulations not only on his magnificent success so far, but on proving that the future of the UK construction industry is well in safe hands.
Builder bags the jackpot as good karma prevails
And finally, it was the story that made national headlines up and down the country this November, and for good reason; it proves that doing the right thing really does pay off.
In this case, it paid off big time for tradesman, Colin Banks, who spotted £30 left behind in a cash machine outside Asda in Motherwell, Scotland.
Doing the honest thing, the 50-year-old handed the money into the supermarket, and on returning home, got the news that a £1.50 bet he’d made had landed him a cool £50,000.
How’s that for proof that karma exists?
Do you know a tradesman with an inspiring story to tell? Have one of your colleagues gone the extra mile to bring a little goodness into the world? Why not let us know via Facebook or Twitter so we can feature them in the next volume of Tales of the Trade?
Alternatively, why not tell us your favourite inspiring story in the comments below.