Fire hero Ronald is 100-years-old
A former firefighter who led the battle against some of Blackpool's most notorious fires has celebrated his 100th birthday.
Ronald Langley served at the now-closed Blackpool Borough fire station on Albert Road, and fought fires in Liverpool during the Blitz in the Second World War.
He was a leading figure in the fight against the Blackpool Tower Ballroom fire in 1956 and the H.R.O. Hills fire in 1967.
His son, Ronald Jr, 72, said: “He has talked about it quite a lot over the years. His long-term memory is very good. It’s just his short-term memory that’s the trouble.
“He’s the oldest pensioner now in Lancashire Fire and Rescue.”
Ronald, a great great grandad-of-one who lives at Redbricks care home on Queen’s Promenade, retired from the Blackpool fire service in 1969. He went on to work in fire safety, assessing new buildings for risks until he turned 65 in 1982.
He paid a visit to Forest Gate fire station in Blackpool yesterday to celebrate his birthday and meet with other, younger firefighters.
His daughter-in-law, Marian, 62, said: “He was delighted at the fire station. He had a fantastic time. Everybody wanted to talk to him.
“Everybody was interested in knowing what he had to say and the bits of memories that he was coming out with.
“I think it’s a big privilege for Ronald to have all these years with his as a dad.”
Warren Topp, watch manager at Forest Gate fire station, said: “It was Ronald’s big day. His family came round with him and we gave him a tour of the station and showed him all the new equipment that we use now.
“He was in a wheelchair so he couldn’t get on the fire engine but we showed him all the equipment and we took him round.
“There’s some quite historical pictures around the station of the horses that used to draw the fire appliances back in the day.”
Darren Gregson, crew manager at Forest Gate, said: “He did comment on how much it has changed now.
“It was interesting for us too because we’re in and out doing work all day and we it’s not every day we get a 100-year-old ex-fireman turning up.”