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A LOCAL legend was given a fiftieth birthday to remember when he spent the day with his favourite firefighters at Bury Community Fire Station.
Brian Jones, who works at Tesco in Bury, spent the day with White Watch on Wednesday, December 17, 2104, in celebration of the milestone occasion.
He has loved the fire service since his was a boy and has paid regular visits to his local fire station for almost 30 years, building a strong bond with White Watch who have made him an honorary firefighter.
Ten years ago, Brian spent the day with the watch at the old fire station at The Rock to mark his fortieth birthday.
Firefighter John Mitchell said: “Brian comes to the station at least once a week and helps us clean the fire engines and has a brew with us at lunch times – he’s just a great guy.
“When I first joined the job 18 years ago I was detached to Bury and Brian was the first person I saw at the station. He was stood at the gates telling me what position I was riding on the fire engine – I thought he was in charge!
“He knows quite a bit about the fire service and knows all the routines and the lingo. He knows a lot about fire safety too so he can share advice with people he meets in the community.”
To celebrate his fiftieth and thank Brian for his continued support for so many years, the firefighters invited him to spend the whole day with them and organised a presentation ahead of his birthday on Thursday, December 18.
Assistant County Fire Officer (ACFO) Paul Argyle presented Brian with a framed certificate and the watch – who were also joined by Station Manager Mark Threader and Borough Manager Ian Bailey – gave him a personalised jumper and a birthday cake.
He joined the watch at 8.30am for their parade at change of watch then helped them check over the fire engines and equipment before taking part in some drills in the station yard.
Later he enjoyed a steak and chips lunch with the watch before going up in the hydraulic platform and assisting them with some fire safety work.
Brian said: “I am very happy and privileged to be able to spend this time with White Watch and I just want to say thank you for everything they do.”
ACFO Argyle said: “I have known Brian for many years – whenever I go in the supermarket he stands to attention and always takes the time to speak to me. He is a lovely man with a real love for the fire service.
“Brian has been extremely supportive of Bury Community Fire Station for such a long time – he does a great deal to help his local firefighters and the community and his visits always lift the spirits of all the watches.
“It was a pleasure to present Brian with his certificate to honour him for his outstanding support and to wish him a very happy and memorable birthday.”