Very kind email comments received from the Fire Brigade Society, following their meeting Bolton MRT on Saturday 1st June 2013

On Saturday 1st June 2013, the Fire Brigade Society visited GMFRS Bolton Central Fire Station, during which they took the opportunity following a request to our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, to photograph our emergency vehicle fleet. (Please see associated website ‘News’ report dated the same)
That same afternoon the Bolton MRT was invited to and sent a representative to attend, the Fire Brigade Society 50th Anniversary Commemorative Function at GMFRS Rochdale Fire Station and the associated Greater Manchester Fire Museum. (Please see associated website ‘News’ report dated the same)

This evening our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE received from Richard Hickman, Public Relations and Marketing Manager for the Fire Brigade Society, the following kind email and associated email ‘threads’ and a press release regarding this Fire Brigade Society visit;

Good Evening, Just to add my own thanks to those of Steve Dodge below, Bolton MRT really went into bat for us on Founders Day and did a fantastic job in bringing along your entire fleet of extremely impressive vehicles which straight away at first impression immediately convey the professionalism of your team and which were exceptionally well received by our members. Your members went above and beyond what could rightly be expected of them in accommodating our requests and answering members questions. However, you then went another stage further by providing excellent coverage of the event at the link below. As the Public Relations Officer for the FBS I cannot thank you enough! (Webmaster / Editorial Committee, I believe we should look at posting a link to the Bolton MRT website and also consider an article from them for use in Fire Cover, our flagship publication)

Once again, many thanks for your generous support and I hope your members enjoyed the day. I wish your superb organisation every continued success, keep up the great work!

P.S. Given the very high standard of your vehicles, I look forward to hopefully one day being able to view your new command unit from both a professional and enthusiast point of view.

Kind regards
Richard Hickman, Public Relations and Marketing Manager,
The Fire Brigade Society Email –
Web –

On Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 8:36 AM, fbs assistgensec wrote:
Further to Richard’s press release may I draw your attention to the Bolton Mountain Rescue web site – news- page?

Their site is very interesting and gives an insight into the activities of this very important voluntary rescue service.

You will see some different photos from the day and the thoughts of our host from BMRT Dave Cook.

We thank Dave Cook and Garry Rhodes MBE for their help with this part of the day. Thank you also to FBS members for their donation to the BMRT coffers.

Regards, Steve Dodge, Assistant General Secretary, The Fire Brigade Society.

On Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 6:09 PM, fbs pro wrote:
Hello, Please find attached and below the post event press release for Founders Day which has just gone out to over two hundred people and organisations throughout the fire service, heritage sector and the media. Once again many thanks to all those involved and those who attended and who made such a fantastic day in one way or another.

Please feel free to circulate as you see fit.

Kind regards
Richard Hickman, Public Relations and Marketing Manager, The Fire Brigade Society

Post Event – PRESS RELEASE, Founders Day – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Fire Brigade Society – 1st June 2013.

Issued – 5th June 2013

The Fire Brigade Society was formed in Manchester on the 1st June 1963, by the late Bob Bonner. Since then ‘The Society’ has grown to become a respected international organisation with members all over the world.

To celebrate this milestone event, members from all over the country along with a number of invited guests gathered to attend ‘Founders Day’ on 1st June 2013. Appropriately the day commenced at Station 50 Bolton Central, where in addition to the fire appliances, those present were also able to view a number of impressive vehicles belonging to the entirely voluntary Bolton Mountain Rescue Team. The group then moved on to onto Farnworth, the new Bury Community Fire Station and Heywood, whilst the Rochdale Fire Museum hosted the formal celebrations at 1500 hours.

The guest of honour was the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, George H Almond Esq. CBE, OStJ, DL, MSc, Chartered FCIPD, FIFireE, FRSA, FRSPH. Whilst hosts for the day were Steve McGuirk CBE, QFSM, DL, FRSA, FIFireE, Chief Fire Officer Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, and Robert Bonner the founders son and member 002 of The Society, who also manages the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum Trust. The event was ‘compared’ by Ralph Horton, The Fire Brigade Society’s Committee and Editorial Team Chairman. Other distinguished guests included Alan House, QFSM, FIFireE, representing the Fire Heritage Network UK and the Firefighters Memorial Trust, Manchester International Airport Chief Fire Officer Steve Metcalf MCGI, G IFireE, MAG, Councillor Shaun O’Neill from Rochdale Borough Council (also representing Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority), along with representatives of The Fire Fighters Charity, the National Association of Retired Fire Fighters (NARF), Bolton Mountain Rescue, and Officers, Honorary Life Members and members of The Fire Brigade Society.

George Almond unveiled a plaque bearing the badges of both The Fire Brigade Society and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service with the wording:

This plaque was unveiled on
1st June 2013 by
The High Sheriff of Manchester
George H. Almond
to mark the 50th Anniversary of the
founding of
The Society by Bob Bonner

Speeches were delivered by George Almond, Steve McGuirk, Robert Bonner, Alan House, Ralph Horton, and Kelvin Green of The Fire Fighters Charity accepted a donation of £50 from The Fire Brigade Society. Montages of fire appliances were presented to George Almond, Steve McGuirk and Robert Bonner from during their respective times serving with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and its forerunners.
Linda Bonner, Robert Bonner’s wife, was presented with a bouquet of flowers by The Fire Brigade Society’s Committee and Editorial Team Chairman’s wife, Sue Horton.

The day conclude with group photographs along side Rochdale Fire Museum’s Dennis F21, 125 foot, Metz Turntable Ladder; the highlight being George Almond, Steve McGuirk, Robert Bonner, Ralph Horton, and firefighter Nick Davis of the duty crew from Rochdale fire station, slicing the 50th Anniversary cake with cutting gear used for road traffic collisions, though this is no reflection on the quality of the cake!

High Sheriff George Almond said; “I was honoured and delighted to be able to support the Fire Brigade Society at their 50th Anniversary celebrations in Greater Manchester and to pay tribute to their founder Bob Bonner; who I am sure would have been delighted to see how well the Society has developed since its inception and the benefits and pleasure its many members are obviously enjoying through their involvement”

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Steve McGuirk said; “We were delighted to be chosen to host the Fire Brigade Society 50th anniversary event at Rochdale Fire Station; which itself was 80 in May this year and will soon be ‘retiring’ when we move to the new community fire station which will be located near Halifax Road. GMFRS firefighters and supporters all pulled together during the event to ensure visitors touring the stations and attending the presentation were looked after and took away fantastic memories of the day.”
Ralph Horton, The Society’s Committee and Editorial Team Chairman summed up the day saying; “The celebration of the founding of The Fire Brigade Society, 50 years ago to the day, with Robert and Linda Bonner, distinguished guests and members of The Society, in such a relevant location as Rochdale Fire Museum, was most fitting. I believe everyone embraced and enjoyed the event”. He went on to say, “It was a great pity Bob and Rose Bonner were no longer with us, as he believes they would have relished the day!”

A full report on Founders Day will appear in a future edition of The Society’s flagship journal ‘Fire Cover’. If you are not already a member why not join and enjoy all the other benefits of being a member of The Society.

The Society is very grateful to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, Rochdale Fire Museum and all of the other groups and organisations who attended for their generous support and assistance in making Founders Day a complete success.

Issued by Richard Hickman, Public Relations and Marketing Manager, The Fire Brigade Society