Burn­ing Pas­sion

One town’s fire­fight­ers all love Land Rovers. Dave Phillips finds out why

Land Rover Monthly - - Contents - Story and pic­tures: Dave Phillips

Dave Phillips finds out why one crew at a par­tic­u­lar fire sta­tion in Nor­folk all love driv­ing Land Rovers

One Christ­mas Day a few years ago I went to my lo­cal pub for a mid­day pint. It was pulled by bar­maid Tracy, who had a big smile on her face. “You hav­ing a nice Christ­mas, then?” I asked. “Bril­liant!” she grinned. “My next-door neigh­bour had a kitchen fire this morn­ing.” “You don’t like your neigh­bours then?” “No, we get on fine,” she ex­plained. “But I got to see the fire­man go­ing up and down the gar­den path. Best Christ­mas present, ever!”

We all love fire­men – even if some of us, like Tracy, love them too much. But the truth is that no other pub­lic ser­vants en­joy the same level of re­spect and ad­mi­ra­tion as fire­fight­ers. Oth­ers, like po­lice, politi­cians, so­cial work­ers, civil ser­vants, refuse col­lec­tors and even the NHS, are of­ten re­garded with mixed feel­ings. But did you ever hear a bad word about a fire­man? Of course not!

And no won­der. We so of­ten see dra­matic footage on the news of brave fire­men put­ting their own lives in peril to save oth­ers. My most poignant mem­ory re­mains 9-11, see­ing hun­dreds of New York fire fighters en­ter­ing the blaz­ing twin tow­ers of the World Trade Cen­tre, know­ing they would never re­turn. In fact 343 of them died that tragic day.

Fire­men are our favourite peo­ple, all right. So it should come as no sur­prise to LRM read­ers that their favourite ve­hi­cles are not big, red shiny fire en­gines but… Land Rovers, of course.

Take the crews at King’s Lynn fire sta­tion, for ex­am­ple. Their patch of Nor­folk in­cludes fac­to­ries, docks, hous­ing es­tates, heath­land, farm­land, a low-ly­ing coast­line un­der con­stant threat of flood­ing and HM the Queen’s res­i­dence at San­dring­ham. But in their spare time they like noth­ing bet­ter than get­ting out into that ru­ral area in their Land Rovers.

Sta­tion man­ager Bob Ay­ers, who owns and drives an orig­i­nal 1990 Turbo Diesel Ninety, reck­ons at least ten of the town’s fire­men drive Land Rovers – in some cases sev­eral. “We all love our Land Rovers – it has be­come a stand­ing joke here,” he says.

The King’s Lynn fire­men use them for com­mut­ing to work, ev­ery­day ve­hi­cles and week­end play­things. Some of them go green­lan­ing and off-road­ing, oth­ers use them as they go about their other out­door hob­bies, like fish­ing. But now they have come up with a great way of us­ing their love of their favourite ve­hi­cles to help raise money for their own char­ity.

On Sun­day Oc­to­ber 22 they are stag­ing a Char­ity Land Rover Run, which will in­clude driv­ing some of Nor­folk’s most scenic lanes, as well as ex­clu­sive ac­cess to pri­vate roads of the Earl of Le­ices­ter’s Holkham Hall es­tate and Great Mass­ing­ham Air­field, a for­mer World War II bomber base that has never

be­fore been opened to the pub­lic.

The event is the brain­child of op­er­a­tional sup­port of­fi­cer, Grant Cot­terell, and sup­port team ad­min­is­tra­tor, Lynn Twite. They have planned a bril­liant out­ing, which will start at the car park on the San­dring­ham Es­tate and fin­ish at Holkham Hall. They have even per­suaded Blue Watch to dish up ba­con butties for all par­tic­i­pants, which is open to LRM read­ers at just £10 a ve­hi­cle. All pro­ceeds will go to the Fire Fighters Char­ity.

In re­turn for help­ing to publi­cise this wor­thy event, LRM was al­lowed to go be­hind the scenes to in­ter­view some of the fire­men and take pho­to­graphs of them and their Land Rovers.

Fire­men work shifts so they can protect us 24 hours a day. That means it was im­pos­si­ble to get them all to­gether in one place at the same time for a pho­to­graph, but seven of them turned up for our shoot (and luck­ily there were no call-outs while this was tak­ing place). Here’s what they had to say about the Land Rovers in their lives...

Above: Here are just a few of the Land Rovers be­long­ing to the fire­fight­ers at King’s Lynn fire sta­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.