South Yorkshire Times, January 6
Conisborough Firemen Resign to give youth its chance.
Two close friends Messes George John Walker of Conan Road, Conisborough and Mr Edward Belk of Ivanhoe road, Conisborough, retired on Saturday from the Conisborough Fire Brigade with 65 years´ service between them.
Mr Walker, with his 42 years´ service, has the distinction of having with one exception, the longest record of service in the history of the brigade. The exception being the late Mr Tom Downing, who, when he retired at a septuagenarian age, had about 50 years. Mr Belk, who for the past four years has served as Sergeant has had 23 years membership.
Mr Walker joined the brigade in January 1897, at the age of 21, and despite his long service he has only served under three captains, Messrs W.Jones, R.J.Clarkson and E.Gregory. Mr Walker was Sgt for about 15 years until six years ago when he resigned these duties.
Mr Walker is the holder of the unions 20 years long service medal awarded 20 years ago, and this he received from the late Mr Caleb Kilner at a presentation at the Conisborough Fire Station when other members also received long service medal’s. A native of Barnsley, Mr Walkerhas lived in Conisborough for 43 years, of which 19 years were spent in Garden Lane, and he has been an employee of the Denaby Main Collieries since 1900, for the past seven years at Denaby Main Colliery and for the whole of the previous period at Cadeby.
Mr Walker told the “Times” this week that he had taken part in fighting many fires, the longest in duration being the three days fight at the old Castle Farm (tenanted by the late Mr W.Norwood), now the Urban Councils yard.
This was 31 years ago, when six stacks were involved. He was also engaged at the old Star hotel, many years ago in which a girl was suffocated, and he attended to the fire at the old sawmills, and two at the fat works.
Mr Belk, a native of Hooton Roberts, joined the brigade in 1915. Mr Belk said: “I think it is about time we let the young `uns have a go, because we have done our share now and they could do with some young blood in the brigade.”
Mr Belk is a painter at Yorkshire Main Colliery, Edlington