Tuesday 11th February at 6:30pm marked the last ever fire drill at Bewdley Fire Station.
About 100 local people heeded the call from campaigners to hold a vigil to mark the occasion.
Tony Raybould, Campaign Chair, addressed the crowd paying tribute to local people and their support. He went on to thank colleagues in the campaign team for all their efforts, and called for a round of applause for all the fire fighters over the years who have risked life and limb out of Bewdley Fire Station.
Then, at the moment the final fire drill was started by the crews, in an impromptu gesture, people turned and surrounded the fire station and clapped the fire fighters. It was a very poignant moment.
Local people then walked into the fire station to talk to firefighters to show their appreciation.
Stephen Brown, Campaign spokesman, who attended the vigil with the campaign team, said “It’s a sad day for Bewdley. The authorities only know how to dismantle precious community assets, they are mere bean counters. They understand nothing of the community spirit and cohesion that binds us as communities. They fail to understand the high regard that local people put in our local services and its people who serve us, which are part of our community, and the fact that these physical buildings are an integral part of that cohesion which bonds our communities. This campaign was a joint FBU and Labour Party. I am proud that we made a stand. I look forward to the day more progressive minds, hopefully in a future Labour Government, return these assets to our local community, and rebuild them. After all, it’s us that value and pay for them, not the wreckers, not the bean counters.”
Stephen added “Tonight is a demonstration that our communities demand better of those that make these decisions. Our campaign is not going to go away. The focus will now be on holding the fire authority to account. It will be about widening our group and ensuring the authorities deliver on their promises and keep Wyre Forest protected.”
Campaigners are looking to explore with Bewdley Museum how a permanent legacy of the campaign, the firefighters who served, and the closure of Bewdley Fire Station may be recorded. FBU say they are looking to help with this.
Wyre Forest Labour and the FBU want to thank everyone who turned out in support tonight, and stood with us over the last few months. We salute you.