“There was no sympathy in my day if they misbehaved they got the hose at them.”
“Absolutely stunned at the amazing changes and extremely thankful” is how Retired Wigan Chief Fire Officer Bernard felt after his wish of going back to work for the day is granted by Wigan fire station.
Bernard Managed over 8 fire stations during his career which starting in 1952 progressing through the ranks until he was promoted to division commander on 1st August 1977 until his retirement in 1980, Bernard managed stations in Wigan, Bolton, Baccup, Leigh and Chadderton and remembers each station as clear as yesterday.
Bernard’s wish was granted this week thanks to Wigan Fire station and Norley Hall care home Activities co-ordinator Elaine Lunn who came together to organise a day Bernard will never forget.
Bernard arrived at Wigan fire station at 10:30am on 24th July where he was greeted by the watch on duty along with Station Manager John Duffin.
Bernard started the morning by telling the crew what they did in his day and how excited he was to see what had changed since he retired 36 years ago.
The fire crew went through each piece of equipment and talked about what had changed over the years with Bernard telling them how they used it in his day.
The crew then took Bernard outside where he they did a full drill using hoses, equipment and the tower to demonstrate how the would tackle a blaze today.
During the drill Bernard said to Station Manager John “I would like to see them line up and report in for duty like we did in my day”, this is something that hasn’t been done for 20 years but the crew knew exactly what to do and it was an honour to recreate the memory for Bernard going back 40 years.
John Duffin Station Manager say’s “It’s been an absolute pleasure to have Bernard back in the station today, we have all enjoyed his company and thoroughly enjoyed talking about the changes over the years .”
Bernard say’s “It’s been a fantastic day, thank you so much to all the men at Wigan Fire Station, my wish was granted and we have formed a relationship, I will be going back to show them pictures of when I worked there all those years ago, the changes in the station today are amazing, the kit and apparatus these days have come a long long way.”
Bernard shared pictures and news paper clippings of achievement’s during his career including winning a drill competition in 1962 and meeting Prince Charles when he opened the Head Quarters in 1974.
A group of colleagues from Millennium Care UK which operate Dementia care homes across Lancashire completed a fundraising challenge in Snowdonia National Park this weekend for Dementia UK
The team of 7 made up of HR, Director, Home Manager, Admin and Wellness Lead decided to climb the 1,085m mountain raising money for a cause very close to them and at the heart of their business.
The team were met at the summit of the mountain by four residents from Millennium homes Norley Hall and Worthington Lake both based in Wigan Lancashire.
Residents Jean, Joan, CC and Arthur who all live with Dementia were proud of the team and even presented them with trophies that had been inscribed with a message for each walker.
The care home residents travelled up the mountain by steam train enjoying the unbelievable views of Snowdonia, the train took 1 hour to reach the summit where they met with the walkers who had set off 3 hours prior climbing in hot temperatures.
Neda Ehtemam – Group Resident Wellbeing Lead
The climb up Snowdon was an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for people living with dementia and their carers. It also served as a great opportunity for our residents to take part and raise the profile that people who have the condition can lead adventurous and fun lives. It was a privilege to be greeted at the top by a number of our residents who had travelled up to the summit on the scenic steam train and presented trophies to all the climbers’ Neda Ehtemam – Group Resident Wellbeing Lead
Emily Fitzsimmons – HR generalist
“We were so lucky to have picked such a glorious day to climb Snowdon, clear views of the surrounding natural beauty spurred us on all the way to the summit. The excitement of reaching the summit was made even more magical by the enthusiasm of the residents who couldn’t wait to give us our well done awards.”
Jean O’brien resident from Worthington Lake care home
“it was a really good day, we got to the top and got something for doing it” Jean added “We all went and we all did really well with it”
Katie Hitchen HR Generalist
“I have never really completed a challenge which is physically demanding, and so I was quite nervous about the Snowdon walk. I did find it difficult, especially with the steep sections and the heat, however it was all worth it to see the sheer joy on our residents faces and knowing how much we raised for a fantastic and significantly important cause.”
The fund raising is still going, you can donate to this fantastic cause by clicking on the link below.