Heroism, Humour and the Hump
Heroism, Humour and the Hump has proved to be a popular presentation, I often find that after delivering a session I am approached by attendees asking for details that they can pass to other groups they know who are seeking speakers for events.
The HHH format starts with a brief tour through who does the firefighting, who has or had the responsibility for it and how we have ended up where we are today. To arrive at the Island's now, it is necessary to discuss national issues from the past, to give context to the local subjects that will follow in the presentation.
With the introductions complete and context arrived at, the presentation continues with a potential for 49 separate stories of the Island's firefighting history from 1850 to 1948.
I don't decide which subjects or in what order they will be revealed, that's down to the audience to pick them out like a lucky-dip, and my skill is to weave the stories together and evidence that in the history of our Island's brigades they may have been separate entities but they were in fact closely aligned through the strengths of the IWFBF and there are many references to acts of heroism, plenty of humour and some involve characters of our firefighting past who quite simply copped the hump!
Periodically, as new information is revealed in research, I amend the subject content or sometimes completely remove one and replace it with something else. But there are also others that are simply irreplaceable, and to tease just slightly, one of my favourite characters is No.12 Captain Henry Buckett.
The more I researched and discovered about this gentleman the more his personality revealed itself for its unique qualities leaving me in no doubt that Henry was a Marmite sort of chap - you'd either love him or despise him.
I have produced some bespoke presentations on request if I feel there is sufficient reliable information to do so.
One example includes 'A Number of Stalwart Men', regarding the little known firefighting history of Binstead. I have also produced and delivered tailored histories of the Island's firefighting services during the Second World War, one specifically focussing on the events of the Cowes Blitz of May 1942 and another special request dedicated to the Great Fire of London.
One of the first questions I am asked when persons request a talk is 'how much do you charge?' The simple answer is that I don't. As long as you are happy for me to bring out a Firefighters Charity collection tin, or your organisation makes a donation in some form to the FFC, that's all I ask for and there's no minimum expectation on my part. I can assure you that every penny goes to the Charity. They were there for me when my family and I needed them, and this is my way of putting something back.