Fire Station/Service

The following account was kindly provided by William Buck’s mother Audrey, nee Baxter.

The first Fire Station in Martham was in the 1940’s at Repps Road. It was in a Nissan hut and it was then called the Auxiliary Fire Service and was manned by volunteers from Martham and the surrounding villages. They manned the station which included working shift work 24 hours a day which meant sleeping on bunk beds at night. They had a fire tender with a water pump on a trailer. The tender had a bell on top which was rung by the pulling of a rope.

Top left to right:  Ralph Gymer, Charles Hodds, Brian William Buck. Front row left to right: Tim (Phillip) Harris, Meyer Tungate, Mr Myhill, Baden Buck, Charlie Gymer and Ben Grimmer. Picture taken 1949/50.

After the war it changed a bit and became the National Fire Service. It was not manned 24 hours a day as a siren was built in the garden at Sub Officer Baden Ernest Buck’s home. This was operated from his house 24 hours a day and if there was a fire you had a phone call from headquarters and the siren was set off by pressing a button. So, whenever the firemen were working, they would get on their bicycles to go to the Fire Station as they also had a bell fitted at home to call them at night.

Martham Fire Brigade on a training exercise in 1951. Brian Buck is at the fire pump second from the left is “Teddy” Hodds next is Baden Bick who was the Sub Officer and on the end is Victor Murrell. The other two are unkbown.

The new Fire Station was opened on 12th January 1965 and things were more organised then, everything was operated from Heathersett headquarters and the old siren was also moved there. On 24th June 1965 they had a new fire engine as things were getting more up to date. The firemen also had a bleeper which they carried with them. Since then, things have changed and instead of bicycles they have cars.

The son of Baden Buck, Brian William Buck (1929-1997) was also a fireman at Martham from 1944 until he retired as a Sub Officer in 1986. This picture of him was taken in 1946.

The following four photographs show some of the men who were Firemen in Martham, kindly provided by David Stretton.

Repps Road Fire Station. Baden Buck on left hand side at the back
Baden Buck, Jack Harris, Phillip Harris, Victor Murrel. Date unknown.
c1949. Back Row: Fusky Jermy, Meyer Tungate, Alfred Punchard, Charlie Gymer. Front Row: Jim Todd, Ben Nichols, Joe Myhill, Baden Buck & Brian Buck
1960. Left to Right: Phillip Harris, Victor Murrel, Jack Harris, Charlie Gymer, Tim Harris, Norman Utting & Billy Tungate.

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