As a researcher of fire brigade history I've become acutely aware of the value of documents and records that remain of events that were many decades or even centuries before those experienced by my generation of firefighters.

Newspapers, meeting minutes and random ephemera make up the lions share of the information available from which to piece together the fascinating stories of our forebears and their lives. What is much harder to find are the first-hand recollections and memories of those who served in the brigades of the past and those who witnessed their deeds. 

From 2003 to 2006 the BBC accepted submissions to its People's War website. Whilst new submissions ceased at the latter date, the site now stands as a fascinating and valuable archive of real stories of real people and the part they played in Britain, its dominions and in theatres of war from the hard-working housewife of the home front to the most far-flung and forgotten Chindit of the Burma campaign. 

Inspired by this concept I have opened this new page of the IWFBF site Our Brigade. This is an opportunity for absolutely anyone who has a story to tell to forward it to me at damon.corr@btopenworld.com or via the Contact page. Don't worry about spelling or grammar, I can tidy it up if necessary, but please consider even the smallest paragraph that will add to an archive of Island fire brigade memories. 

As with the BBC's effort I will publish a page on this site per story and it will be located from a hyperlink listed below featuring the name of the person who created it.

I will retain the right to remove or amend anything that may cause others distress, embarrassment or offence. Anything that appears on the website will be my responsibility after having carried out a common-sense analysis of the content. 

 

*Charlie Woodford (Sandown Fire Station) from his book My Sandown, My Island.

*Len Williams (Ryde Fire Station) from his eulogy written by Maurice Fairall in Wight Fire, 1992.

*Pidge's Hideout! (Sandown Fire Station) an amusing anecdote from the late fireman Colin Pidgeon.

*Tigger's Revenge! (Ryde Fire Station) a personal confession of heroism gone wrong.