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Firefighters bid farewell to Leek Fire Station

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 02, 2014

  • Leek Fire Station which is to be demolished and replaced with new facilities including community rooms

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FORMER firefighters joined current crew members to bid farewell to Leek Fire Station.

The station, in Springfield Road, was opened in 1971.

Now it is to be demolished and replaced with a brand new building which will have hi-tech operational facilities and space for more community safety activities.

Joining visitors last Thursday were brothers John and Thomas Amson.

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The pair – who have racked up 64 years of service between them – met their old colleagues for the special farewell event.

They were the third generation of their family to dedicate their working lives to fighting blazes in the Moorlands.

Grandfather-of-four John joined the service in 1949 before retiring in 1984.

The 84-year-old, of Edgehill Road, Leek, said: "My father John Henry Amson Junior and my grandfather John Henry Amson Senior were both firefighters, so it seemed natural for me and my brother to join.

"I've worked out that our family has done 140 years with the fire service collectively.

"My son Andrew became a part-time firefighter in 1984, the day after I retired. He was only there for two years but he enjoyed it."

John added: "This is the first time Thomas and I have been back in 30 years. I have lots of good memories including when we used to have a bar.

"After drills we would go upstairs and have a shandy or a pint. It was always a small drink in case of an emergency.

"Even when we retired, we both continued to meet at the club until it disbanded in 2004.

"It is sad to know this building is going but I am hoping we will be invited back to see the new station once it is built."

The brothers were relocated to Leek Fire Station in 1971 after a based in Stockwell Street was closed.

Younger brother Thomas, aged 80, of Newcastle Road, Leek, said: "I was a part-time firefighter between 1960 and 1989 while working as an engineer. I preferred the station in Springfield Road because it was more updated.

"It used to be a nightmare getting the fire engines out of the Stockwell Street station because the road was so busy.

"My dad was still working when John and I joined, so all three of us were based at the same station.

"It will be sad to see this building go but everything has to end. It has served its purpose but it's time to move on."

Guests were asked to write down their memories of the station to be included in a time capsule. The new station, which is being built on the current site, will be operational towards the end of next year.

Chief fire officer Peter Dartford said: "In 1971, the service we provided was very much a response service, so the building was designed for that purpose. Now our service is more focused on prevention. The new station will be designed with the community at the heart."

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