Search

New era as fire station opens

PUBLISHED: 07:38 17 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:02 22 October 2010

County and civic leaders joined top fire officers yesterday in welcoming the official opening of a £1m fire station at Downham Market.

County and civic leaders joined top fire officers yesterday in welcoming the official opening of a £1m fire station at Downham Market.

Norfolk County Council chairman Patrick Hacon, who cut the tape at the ceremony, attended by local, district and county VIPs, said: "This is both an end and a beginning.

"It marks the end of a great deal of hard work by a large number of people.

"More importantly, it marks the beginning of a new era in the strong relationship between Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and the people of Downham Market and the surrounding areas."

Pointing out that the building was designed to be open to the community, he added: "I am sure it will prove to be a huge asset to all."

Downham mayor Mick Ford described how the new facility would benefit the town in different ways. "It's twofold, really - because it's good for Downham Market but also we actually gain the old fire station, which means that we can start to develop more car parking," he said.

The new single-storey building behind the police station in Ryston Close is equipped with a spacious bay for the £220,000 fire engine, delivered last year, along with lecture room, offices, kitchen and storage areas.

It replaces a building in Priory Road that has been the fire station since 1936 and Downham's watch manager, Grant Cotterell, said the design of the new premises would help to increase the efficiency of officers and crew.

Mr Cotterell, who is in charge of a crew of 11 at the station, added: "It's an exciting time to be part of the fire and rescue service in Downham Market."

After the official opening, firefighter Steve Manney was presented with his long service and good conduct medal by Chief Fire Officer Richard Elliott.

Mr Manney, 49, who has served at Downham for 22 years in total, said: "This means a lot to me."

Major incidents he recalls best during those years include fires at King's Lynn docks, Thetford Forest and a chemical factory in Thetford.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press