The New Chair of BFSA (London & South East) District  Paul Basson was invited to attend the last Drill Night on Thursday 25th January 2018 of  Eddie W Wing, Watch Commander, Biggleswade Fire Station, Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Paul was a Member of Biggleswade Fire Station and Bedfordshire Fire Service in 1974 when Eddie joined as a Junior FF…….I gave a short presentation regarding the Historic impact of The Great Fires of Potton in 1783 and Biggleswade in 1785 respectfully……and how the Churches took on some responsibility for fire-fighting duties but the Community, Businesses and a few Insurance Companies did a little to help but it took a further 90 years  to get to being properly supported and financed.

Following in the Footsteps….The  Biggleswade (Volunteer) Fire Brigade came into being in 1874. The Brigade had six Captain’s between 1874-1939  D Miller, D M Spong, G Thomas, A Brookbanks, C Saunders and A Debney.

Capt, D M Spong was the longest serving Officer with 33yrs and 5yrs as Senior Foreman a Total of 38yrs Service.

The Government final Co-ordinated and standardised the Fire Brigades in 1941 – Auxiliary FS and National FS during  WW11 and the introduction County Fire Services from  1948 – 2018.

Back in 1888 a New Fire Station was built – one manual pump and a hose layer “The Bell!!” …..still kept on station after being rescued in 1974….130yrs on….horses!! the first Steamer Pump…1894 horses!! Hit and miss even the Town Councils Vulcan Lorry was not that reliable in 1924. So the first Motorised Fire Engine 1928 was purchased, that had to have the body purposely adapted to fit into the Old Fire station in Church Street……on and on including some disastrous Fires…in the process….

The Biggleswade (Volunteer) Fire Brigade’s connection with the British Fire Services Association via its predecessor organisation “The National Fire Services Union (NFSU)” goes back to 1888 and was noted by “ Mr T Dodimead’s ..NFSU – Long Service Medal with two 5yr bars and a Brass Helmet with NFSU Badge belonging to Mr Stan Hills….” These Item’s with the “Old Alarm Bell” are held in trust by BFRS.

The war time brought the need for Civil Defence preparations in 1941 – AFS and NFS Crew’s where in-place with 24hr cover and there many trip’s down the A1 to the City of London and “The Blitz!”

Then into the modern era…Two Fire Appliances,  and the New Fire station built in 1960 then 1966 the arrival of the very modern Rescue Appliance, a one and a half converted ex military Humber…..

We never where allowed to forget some of the station stories regarding those who had passover the bar!! The Station Ghost’s…….Those who still let you know that they have passed this way…..In late 1973 the arrival of the 6 wheel Range Rover (L4R)…….24 Retained FF.. we where and still are …..the best… 1974….we where 100yrs Old….in 1985 ….commemoration of the “Great Fire Biggleswade” …..200th Anniversary….


The Last Drill Night was attended by  Paul Fuller, Chief Fire Officer, BFRS , Cllr Micheal North, Biggleswade’s Town Mayor, Family Members ,Officers and Men from many Bedfordshire Stations …..As Eddie and His Team took a stroll down memory lane,  there was many reminisces and presentations where made throughout the 1970’s.. 1980’s.. 1990’s… 2000’s….. 44yrs of Service to his Community and County with the support as he said “of so many.” We believe that Eddie was the longest serving Fire-fighter in the history of Biggleswade Fire Station………

Eddie was awarded “The BFSA Commendation Medal” for his 44 years Service to the Community, County the BFSA Medal was presented to Eddie by Paul Basson, Chair of the BFSA (London and South East) District.

A Full Social Farewell was planned for Friday 2nd February 2018….I presented a personal gift of a BFSA “Fire Veteran” Lapel Badge to Eddie…


Left to Right

Paul Basson, BFSA,  Matt Smith, BFRS, Eddie Wing, W/C BFRS  Cllr Michael North, Biggleswade Town Mayor , Paul Fuller, CFO BFRS.

Left to Right

Paul Basson, BFSA,  Matt Smith, BFRS, Eddie Wing, W/C BFRS  Cllr Michael North, Biggleswade Town Mayor , Paul Fuller, CFO BFRS.