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Article from Mercury & Herald, 14 February 1958 transcribed by Margaret Craddock

Fire-fighting is their hobby

When the fire siren wails out over Burton Latimer, eight employees scattered throughout factories in the Coles Group immediately “down tools” and hurry to the Fire Station.

One of the men, Mr Arthur Barlow, a heel-scourer for the Coles Boot Co Ltd explained the set-up:

“We are all voluntary members,” he said.  “We all do it because we enjoy it.  I suppose it could really be called a hobby.

“How many calls do we get?  On an average about one a fortnight, although some weeks we may have two or even three.

“Luckily, the calls are generally to chimney and stack fires.  Often, though, we get called to bigger outbreaks to help other brigades in nearby towns.”

Mr Barlow has spent eight years as a full-time fireman – at Southampton and Portsmouth during the last war.

Five of the firemen are employed by the Coles Boot Co Ltd.  Two others ware at the premises of Whitney & Westley Ltd and the eighth at E K Coles (Burton Latimer) Ltd.

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