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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

RE-DEDICATION OF THE WAR MEMORIAL 1972 (4) - MIDDLEWICH FIRE BRIGADE

Another in our series showing the Service of Re-Dedication and the procession from the Town Centre to the Royal British Legion Club in Lewin Street. This time we see the town's volunteer Fire Brigade (not, in those simpler days, the 'Fire & Rescue Team'. And they kept their fire engine in the fire station, not in the 'community fire station').
Leading the firemen is John Garner and, immediately behind him, to the left, is Ron Grainger, who had been a member of the MUDC's Road Gang but was now part of the team running the new Water Pollution Control Works in Prosperity Way, thus entitling him to drive the Departmental Tangerine and Delft Blue Land-Rover around the town.
On the skyline is a row of 1930s semis in King Street, and I'm still trying to decide whether or not the one on the extreme left is number 33, our family home from the late 1950s until the early 2000s. The house in question does have a conservatory (or 'glasshouse' as we called it) as did Number 33 , but seems a little too close to the Old Mill. Possibly our house was actually a little further to the left and out of shot.
Behind the fire brigade can be seen the Scouts, awaiting their turn in the limelight and no doubt being shepherded along by at least one person called Hough. It's the law in England that no Middlewich Scout Troop can exist without at least one Hough being involved.
Our second photo shows the Fire Brigade opposite the British Legion Club,  as MUDC Chairman Fred Stallard takes the salute

Facebook Feedback:
    • Geraldine Williams Yes, there has to be a Hough, and this particular one is Peter. I think the scout leader on the left is Frank Smith who lived in the adjoining house to the Ellison family at the foot of the hill at Ravenscroft.

    • Geraldine Williams ‎......and as the photograph is dated 1972 there well may be a mutual acquaintance marching in the scout troop!!


    • Dave Roberts I think that is Frank, on the left. A very knowledgeable man on the subject of Middlewich and an invaluable contributer to the early 'MHS Newsletters' but, sadly, beset by health problems in later years.
    Jonathan Williams 




    It is certainly Frank Smith, a very kind and devoted man and leader, who was very supportive to me in gaining my one proficiency badge (for turning up, as I recall...wrongly !). The Hough family were and still are the backbone of the 2nd Middlewich Scouts, with Dad Frank also being a very kind and helpful man, and his sons Peter, Ian and David as contempories around the time of the photo. Big shout out to Roger Hodgkinson and Will Moreton too; very young leaders at the time but people who made an impression on our young lives that influences my philosophy of public service, respect for others and love of Middlewich this day. Great people. Nice to get the chance to pay respect.



  • Dave Roberts 




    My spies tell me that Roger is now an engine driver on the Llangollen Railway. He's a very distant relation to me (when Grandma Mason remarried, it was to a Hodgkinson) As for Will Moreton, he was my earliest guide and protector and there was a time when I wouldn't go to school unless he escorted me down to the Crosville Garage to catch the little double-decker to Wimboldsley. I don't know if we have a slide of the scouts marching past on this occasion - I've looked through them, but so far without success.


    Geraldine Williams
     My mother-in-law's maiden name was also Hodgkinson and I think there was possibly a connection with Roger's family. I do hope that the Hough/Hodgkinson/Moretons etc have access to this page and are aware of the well-deserved tributes being paid. (I take it you've now worked out who the 10 year-old mutual acquaintance was Dave?!!!)


  • Dave Roberts Oh yes...

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