Another new experience today - dedicating a new fire engine (or fire 'appliance' in today's jargon) at Welshpool's Fire Station. My invitation to the dedication came from Brenden, the Watch Manager (proper title for the local Station Manager) via the Mayor of Welshpool. After the prayer's and Bible readings, I was invited to contribute to the proceedings. I had not anticipated being asked to speak, so was scratching my head searching for something appropriate to say. At the last second I had a brainwave.
Began by describing an appearance on a Welsh language radio programme called 'Beti a'i Phobl' (Beti and her people) which is a sort of 'Desert Island Discs'. I was required to choose four of my favourites. One of the tracks I chose was 'Into the Fire' by Bruce Springstein. He wrote it as a tribute to the firefighters who risked (some of whom sacrificed) their lives after the New York Twin Towers were rammed by terrorists. At the time, I'd thought of it as being akin to entering the operating theatre for my 'lower bowel re-section', not feeling certain about re-emerging afterwards. Anyway, it was an event that raised the appreciation of firefighters across the world. No matter how careful the Watch Manager is, firefighting is a dangerous business - and most of them in the photograph are volunteers. Like our soldiers in Afghanistan, they deserve the best equipment we can provide. Brave boys. Nice Appliance. Firefighters 'tea and sandwiches' to follow.