Garry calls time on firefighting career

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Margaret Thatcher was elected as the UK’s first female Prime Minister, 
Donna Summer topped the charts, and the average 
house price was £13,500.

That was 1979... the year Garry Pick ‘signed up’ for 
duty as an on-call firefighter 
in Horncastle.

Thirty nine years on, and Garry pulled on his uniform for the final time this month 
as he called time on his remarkable career.

Garry said: “It has been an absolute privilege all good things come to an end.

“I always said I’d retire at 60. It is time to spend more time with my wife and grand kids.

“Miss it? Of course I will. It’s been such a big part of my life.

“It’s like a big happy family which I’ve been lucky to be 
part of.

“It is a job but I look on it more as serving my community and I’m proud to have done it 
for so long.”

Garry was born and bred in Horncastle, a former pupil at Banovallum School.

He can still recall riding his bike to the fire station when the ‘old’ roof top siren sounded.

It is a much different tory with firefighters summoned from their ‘day jobs’ by electronic bleepers.

Garry, a painter and decorator, explains: “As a kid, I was always interested in the fire service.

“One day, I was in town and someone said the station had a vacancy. I applied, got the interview somehow and that was it!”

The station manager in the 70s was the legendary Russ Danby

Garry, crew manager when he retired, can still remember his first ‘shout’.

He revealed: “The town bonfire was out of control.

“Back then, it was held on the Tesco site.

“I got to the station as fast as I could but I wasn’t quick enough... the engine had already gone!”

Garry has lost count of the number of call-outs, from cats stuck up trees to fatal road accidents and major blazes.

Garry admits the job has ‘changed beyond recognition’ and says the advent of new technology has led to big improvements.

He adds: “When that bleeper goes off, you never know what to expect.

“I’m sure when I hear the engine I’ll be wondering what the crew will be dealing with - hoping they’re all safe.”.”

A personal highlight came in 2000 when The Queen presented Garry with a long service and good conduct medal.

Watch manager Alan Maskell, a veteran of 43 years, admitted: “We’ll miss him.

“I’m proud to have worked alongside him.”

• County fire chiefs attended a retirement party last Saturday at the town football club.

Watch manager Alan Maskell, a veteran of 43 years, admitted: “We’ll miss him. I’m proud to have worked alongside him.”