I have read all 3 books from back to back atleast twice each... I have taken them on flights on holiday and been stared at like a mad man for literally giggling out loud for half of the flight. As a young probationary firefighter I have been found the books enthralling, inspiring and so entertaining that I might just read the whole set again. I often find myself beaming from ear to ear whilst reading them and can't help wish that I was a firefighter on Dave's watch. There is only one word worthy of this man.. "Legend!" . Please write another! Thank you for writing something that has been so important in the development of my fire service career and if I ever meet you beers are on me!
Hello GovI was t young to call you Dave. You were always and happily Guv to me. Under you I went from a boy to a man I was 18 when I turned up on the whites at D23. I still remember you giving me a talk about parapet dismounts when `i first did hook ladder drillsthe word was we don't do 'emHoobsy
Hello GuvHow are you doing D23 WW Tugs watch With Bill Collins, Bomber Harris, Greg, Eamon, Biggles, Charlie, Lee, LFM Squidly, Sub Brian, Mary the cook and all of us that was WW Delta 23
Just read your first book - brought back a lot of memories. Sorry I seem to have been the cause of your early departure from the brigade!!Hard to believe it all happened so many years ago.Hope all is well with you & your family
Just finished your first e-book. As you are making them free to download, I have sent a donation to the Firefighters Charity. Perhaps you might put a note on your website inviting others who enjoy the books to make a donation (to this or another charity of your choice) - although maybe you would prefer the money yourself! I am now retired after 38 years at the Natural History Museum. Did you get a chance to look around our 'Spirit Building' when you were at Brompton & Chelsea? There was supposed to be enough energy stored in that building (as 80% alcohol) to launch a Saturn 5 rocket. Really enjoyed your tales.
Hi DaveGood read, dont know if you remember me, with you at A21 when it opened and srayed about a year before escaping to the B Div.I intend to read the rest of your books, came accross this site by accident while trying to research what happened to Alec Pilbro and tried typing in Lienster Towers fire and this site came up. RegardsMick Eagle
Came across your books on Amazon and thought I might give them a try. It ended in tears, of course, I haven't laughed so much for a long time! Great books and a great trigger for many more memories. Thank you - Jaime Graham (73 - 86 mostly in the C Division) Now I've seen your photo, will look out for you at the 'Old Bugger's Beano' in May.
Came across your books on Amazon and though I might give them a try. It ended in tears, of course, I haven't laughed so much for a long time! Great books and a great trigger for many more memories. Thank you - Jaime Graham (73 - 86 mostly in the C Division) Now I've seen your photo, will look out for you at the 'Old Bugger's Beano' in May.
Hi Dave, retired Sub from next door (Surrey). Part the way through "To ride a Red Engine", I was laughing by page 2 of the Preface. Recommended by one of your ex Colleagues, (John Drudge). Can't wait to get on to the second book. Best Wishes. Mick B.
Hi DaveJust to let you know that my family has, so far, survived the earthquakes without serious injury - though my wife, son & youngest daughter all has "nera misses" during the February quake. It is well worth repeating how grateful CHCH residents are for the efforts of local Emergencvy Services, suplimented by International Urban SAR during the highly volitile rescue phase of the operation. So, if any of your readers were involved thanks again. Current situation: there have been a total of 4778 (four thousand and seventy eight) aftershocks since Feb. Most have been low to moderate but about 24 have been between 5.1 -6.4 magnitude, enough to put your heart back into your mouth.Shocks continue about 20 or so per week. Over 11.5 million tons of rubble & liquifaction have been removed from the district with more to come as about 2,500 private homes & about 100 commercial blds are scheduled for demolition. With over 50,000 road defects(cracks,bumps & holes)reported shock absorber installers are having a field day. Residents are still optimistic with plans to rebuild a safer and greener central city and land in the almost untouched western suburbs being fast tracked for replacement housing. A case in point is our favourate butcher. His first shop destroyed in the Sep. 2010 quake and his second in the Feb. quake he has now set up shop less in safer soil, less than 100 m. from the original shop. Advise to residents in the event of a sewage system failure.Step1: Dig a very deep hole in the backyard. Step2: Obtain large plastic rubbish bag and fit over toilet bowl. Step3: Do what comes naturally. Step4: Remove contents and bury in hole. Limited sewage capability. "If it's yellow let it mellow" " If it's brown flush it down"Finally Dave keep up the good work. Re reading your stories about the old LFB was important light relief especially in the early days when we had no electic supply.Stay safe.Ralph (jock) Scott
Ah the 70's and 80's were the best days in the Fire Brigade, I loved my old personal axe. Great stories, the kids of today don't believe some of the things we got up to before health and safety, remember the hook ladders!!
Hi Dave,I was prompted to re-read your first bookafter seeing the news coverage of the recent London riots.The world seems like a much different place from what you wrote about in the 60's & 70's.I am sure though that the LFB is still full of dedicated people doing a difficult job.(although you probably won't find much beer being brewed these days in London fire stations. I just wanted you to know how how much I enjoyed your book and now that I found your website I look forward to reading your other writings. Hope you are doing well. Sincerely, Brian
Congratulations on your books which I have read and re read many times and greetings to any of your readers who were stationed at Blue Watch Camden Town 1962-1966 and Red Watch Edgeware Rd where I was a L.Fm. 1966-1967Many thanks for the memories of volley ball matches (LFB Style) and the Saturday morning hockey matches. A special thanks for memories of the nourishing pints Buck Ryan, Terry O'Neil you and I sank at the corner pub. As for water fights, do you remember the time you and I came second best to Buck Ryan when we were daft enough to turn the piddling hose from the hydrant 'bagpipes' on him. As for me, I am a 72 yr old grandfather; in my dotage. That's for others to say. I retired as a Stn. O. N.Z. Fire Service and took on a job as a government fire protection officer. That job took me on inspection trips to about the South Island and off shore to the Chatham Islands and Scott Base Antarctica. There was a number of ex LFB stationed at CHCH at least one of which you would have known. I would be pleased to pass on details to any of your readers.Again many thanks and congratulations.
Dave, Just stumbled on to your site, I'm looking forward to spending some time reading your yarns. I think our generation had the best times. CheersKen
Hi Dave. I'm visiting from fireservice.co.uk forum, having passed your details on from a mutual friend.Cheers Mark
good job ,would like to meet u.u are just agood inspiration to junior fire fighters like me.come and exprol in africa
Whoops. I should have read the whole story before asking that question in my previous.It would seem that "Clarkson" was indeed the very same course instructor.I remember him being quite a "short" man or in today's politically correct language - "Vertically Challanged" I also recall a question he put to us on the final day at Southwalk before leaving for our new stations.He asked what our ambitions were.From a slighty arrogant 18 year old youth, I replied "to have your job".I don't remember his reply and needless to say, I did not aspire to such heights. The yearn for overseas adventure got the btter of me!Cheers - again
Hi Dave.Just stumbled across your wonderful site and downloaded "To Ride a Red Engine" Great stuff bring back so many memories.However, when I looked at the photo of your recruit course it was just like looking at the picture of my own albeit 7 years later in 1968.Is the chap named Clarkson the one who was my course instructor and then went on to became the Chief Officer?Regardless, this is really good.Many thanks
Thanks for the great books Dave thire a real insight into the life in the L.F.B.,i cant too lip read because off my time at feltham,i had never heard the stand by story before.thanks for a great read,many thanks,Allen
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