AN EX-FIREFIGHTER has been honoured by former colleagues at Thornaby Community Fire Station after four decades as a union member.
Guy Ledgard, 76, spent more than 25 years in the fire service and has continued his membership of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) since retirement in 1998.
Now living at Ingleby Care Home, on Lamb Lane, Ingleby Barwick, the veteran FBU member was awarded a medal of recognition for his 40th year of membership.
Officers from Thornaby station visited the care home to present Guy with the award, bringing their newest fire engine and a variety of equipment with them.
Watch manager David Bradshaw gave his firefighter jacket to Guy to wear for the ceremony. Afterwards Guy also sat in the fire engine and tried on the latest equipment.
The ceremony was attended by Guy’s friends and family, including his children, grandchildren and wife, Christine.
Speaking for Guy, who has advanced dementia, Christine said: “It’s such an honour for Guy to receive this recognition.
“Although Guy retired from the fire brigade, he kept up his union membership, as he was so proud of belonging to the organisation.
“He was absolutely delighted when watch manager David offered him his jacket and started to dance around in it. He loved sitting in the fire engine as well.”
Guy joined the fire brigade in 1973 after serving in the Navy. He started work at Thornaby Fire Station when it opened two years later, covering Middlesbrough, Billingham and Newton Aycliffe.
In September last year, Guy returned to Thornaby Fire Station to mark 20 years since hanging up his boots. When entering the station, he said: “Memories, memories.”
Also in attendance at the ceremony at Ingleby Care Home were two of Guy’s former colleagues, Mick Robson, who joined Cleveland Fire Brigade in 1994, and David Bradshaw, who joined in 1996.
Both had Guy as their boss, when he was lead firefighter for White Watch.
Mick said: “I remember Guy as a very dedicated man who supported the men on the watch. Guy also used to draw caricatures of our exploits, giving everyone the chance to have a laugh.”
Carol Singleton, home manager at Ingleby Care Home, said: “Guy is such a special man and, despite his dementia, you can see he still recalls his time as a firefighter fondly.
“We’d like to say a massive thank you to the Fire Brigades Union and Thornaby firefighters for visiting Ingleby Care Home today and honouring Guy.
“It was a fantastic day not only for Guy but for his fellow residents as well, some of whom also got to sit in the fire engine.
“We will be framing photos from the day to hang on the walls of the care home so we can all remember this very special occasion.”