Woodhall Spa – our best event yet!

Back from an absolutely phenomenal weekend at Woodhall Spa.

We did an air raid both days early in the afternoon. On Saturday, the sirens sounded, and the bombers came overhead. Bombs fell on the hotel and the ARP wardens were one the scene. Casualties were rescued, wounds treated and the NFS arrived in three fire engines. Everything worked as it should, with a jet from the top of the turntable ladder, and one from the Barton pump on the front of the Fordson Escape Carrier.

Whilst firefighting was under way, a further casualty appeared screaming from a first-floor window. The Officer in Charge instructed that a ladder be rigged to the balcony and two firemen ascended the ladder. In fact two casualties were found, a young woman with minor injuries, and a man who was later pronounced dead at the scene. The young woman was escorted down the ladder and the dead casualty carried.

The fire was successfully extinguished and just as the fire crew were making up, a distinguished visitor arrived to inspect the firemen. Mr Churchill hmself was very complimentary on the efforts of the NFS in saving Britain from the ravishes of Nazi Germany.

On Sunday, what do you know, the same bombers came back again at the very same time!! Only this time it was MUCH better. The NFS were escorted by military motorbike outriders from Woodhall Spa fire station to the hotel on the far side of the town watched by hundreds of visitors on the main street of the town. Other services included nurses, police, Home Guard, an ambulance and other military vehicles. And as ever, the Americans turned up … late.

Both displays were watched by almost capacity crowds on the lawn at the front of the hotel, as well as those by the road side.

We would like to express our thanks to all who helped make this such a success, and a thoroughly enjoyable event to take part in.

If I had a clean sheet of paper to plan an ideal event, I would ask for:

  • A nice big old building in a small town with a large area for the public to watch from, with plenty of space for us to use as a display area, and parking space.
  • Enthusiastic management who allowed us to do practically anything except actually burn the building down!!
  • A helpful and friendly organising committee who would help with anything we needed.
  • A local fire brigade who would help were they could.

Funny – that’s exactly what we got. We could not ask for more … except perhaps for a nice three-bay fire station with polished wooden doors and a brass bell outside!


Thanks to Lincs Fire and Rescue (at Woodhall Spa fire station) for the use of their training dummy and for all their help over the weekend.

Special thanks to Fran, Jan, Hannah and Carol for catering, event control and making a few people look like they had just had a very nasty accident. PS Hannah – you have a job here – the wounds were so  good.

Thanks to Kayleigh, Wendy and Norman, our casualties.

And a huge thanks to the organising committee of the weekend for all their help and support, and for grasping the vision of what we wanted to bring alive.

More photographs and hopefully some quality video to follow soon.
Thanks to Mick Hill and Steve Davies for these so far.

Mick Hill’s set of photos can be seen here (Saturday) and here (Sunday).

About lowdhamstation

I am a director of a small (and very technical) business, a committed Christian, a Reader (and preacher) in my local village church, husband to my dear Frances, am interested in heritage railways, and heritage fire engines. I currently run a group that displays wartime and early post-war fire engines at 1940s re-enacting events and steam engine rallies. O yes, and vintage cars and motorbikes, and we live in a Victorian railway station.
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