Firefighter retires after 40 years

ONE of Portishead’s longest-serving firefighters has retired.

At the age of 60, Colin Gardiner is hanging up his boots after tackling blazes in and around the town for the past 40 years.

Looking back, he said the busiest time of his firefighting career was when the phosphorous factory Albright and Wilson was in operation in Portishead, as incidents needing the fire service were frequent.

Like all the other firefighters in the town, father and grandfather Colin was a retained fireman throughout his service, which means he was on call 24/7. He said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in the fire service but being on call you can never really relax. I guess I’ve got some relaxing to catch up on now.”

The former electrician, who works as a technical supervisor for British Telecom, says he will continue in his day job for the foreseeable future.

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Watch manager Neil Fletcher said: “Colin will be sorely missed by all at the station. Not only has he given 40 years to Portishead, he has also been involved with many working groups within the Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

“I would also like to express our thanks to his family for putting up with 40 years of spoilt meals, missed days out and disturbed sleep. We all wish him the very best for the future.”

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Colin’s watch threw a retirement party for him at the town’s football club on Friday and as he was no longer on call he says he was able to enjoy a beer or two.

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