A serious accident occurred on the A338 at Bickton on the 13th November 1998 when a car ended up wrapped around three trees.
It took some time to release the female driver from the wreckage but thankfully she was not too seriously hurt.
The 4th March 1999 saw a fire break out in the workshops of Forest Road Garage in Hale. The involvement of acetylene cylinders
saw a lot of damage done to the property.
A dog had to be rescued by Fordingbridge firefighters when it’s head became wedged between the sections of a metal gate in St.
Georges Crescent on the 18th March 1999 and on the 26th March two drivers had to be released from the wreckage of another
fatal accident on the A338 road this time at Redbrook.
Road Traffic Accident, A338, Redbrook – 26th March 1999
An unusual incident took place on the 29th April 1999 when Fordingbridge were called to a house fire at Fishers Heron near East
Mills. On arrival it was discovered that a vivarium was involved in a small fire which had done little damage to the bedroom.
However the occupant of the vivarium, a large Iguana, had escaped and was wandering around the room. Eventually the
Fordingbridge crew cornered the animal and it was bundled into a wardrobe for its own safety.
Fordingbridge firefighters with the Motor Racing commentator Murray Walker – July 1999
A barn was burnt to the ground at Padstow Farm, Fordingbridge on the 5th May 1999 and on the 17th October a call was received
to a fire at Salisbury Cathedral. Luckily the cause of the fire was only the safety netting around the huge columns of scaffolding that
had been erected whilst the Cathedral was having its stonework cleaned.
A country house was badly damaged when its thatch roof caught alight late in the evening of the 4th December 1999. The Little
Manor at Britford burnt furiously for some time before the attendance of 12 pumps managed to extinguish the blaze.
Christmas Eve 1999 is a night that Fordingbridge firefighters will never forget. After several days heavy rain Fordingbridge and the
surrounding villages were suffering badly from flooding and on Christmas Eve the situation got worse. Several calls to flooding
were attended before a call came in to people trapped in a swollen ford at Lawrence Lane, North Gorley. The Landrover from
Fordingbridge Fire Station reached the scene first with Leading Firefighter Colin Coley on board. On assessing the situation he
immediately jumped into the raging water to help assist a female who had become stuck in tree branches and was in a life
threatening predicament. The Water Tender Ladder arrived very shortly after and Firefighter Paul Dorrington joined Leading
Firefighter Coley in the water and the lady’s rescue was carried out to a happy conclusion. Three other people who were trapped in
the Range Rover were got to dry land by means of an extension ladder by the rest of the fire crew. The water was so deep in this
area that whilst driving to the scene the front headlights of the fire engine had been totally submerged under the flood water on the
The rescue of stranded motorists from a swollen ford – Xmas Eve 1999 In this picture the 9 metre ladder has been extended over
on to the roof of the submerged Range Rover.
As a result of the actions performed at this incident the attending crew were awarded the following by the Chief Fire Officer of
Hampshire, Malcom Eastwood in March 2000.
Sub Officer Steve Coles – Chief Fire Officers Certificate of Congratulations
LFf Colin Coley – Chief Fire Officers Commendation/Order of St. John
Ff Dean Palmer – Chief Fire Officers Certificate of Congratulations
Ff Dave Stone – Chief Fire Officers Certificate of Congratulations
Ff Paul Dorrington – Chief Fire Officers Commendation/Order of St. John
Ff Pete White – Chief Fire Officers Certificate of Congratulations
The Fordingbridge crew with their certificates and the people they rescued
The certificate presented to six Fordingbridge Firefighters by Chief Fire Officer Eastwood following the events of Christmas Eve 1999
Some time later Leading Firefighter Coley and Firefighter Dorrington were presented with bravery awards from The Order of St.
John in respect of their actions that night in saving the life of the woman trapped in the water.
Paul Dorrington & Colin Coley receiving The Order of St John
The last day of 1999 saw Fordingbridge tackling a major fire which totally destroyed a wooden bungalow at Newgrounds in
Godshill. The fire started in the early hours and took several hours to extinguish
Bungalow fire at Newgrounds, Godshill – 31st December 1999
Fordingbridge’s Water Carrier was called to assist at a tragic fire on the 24th February 2000. Flames had swept through the
country home of MP Michael Colvin at Tangley House near Andover claiming the lives of both Mr. Colvin and his wife. It took the
attendance of 10 pumps to put out the fire before efforts could be made to recover the bodies
The devastating fire at Tangley House – 24th February 2000
On the 28th March 2000 Fordingbridge were called to assist at a thatch roof fire at Rose Cottage, Hightown Hill, Ringwood. A total
of ten pumps tackled this fire which sadly destroyed the majority of the roof.
The Woodfalls Inn, Woodfalls suffered a fire in an office which caused serious damage on the 30th July and the following day
Fordingbridge attended a serious accident on the A338 at Charlton All Saints along with firefighters from Salisbury.
The premises of John Loader at Grimsdyke Granaries, Martin Drove End had a serious blaze on the afternoon of the 2nd August
2000. The fire started in a pile of pallets at the rear of the warehouse and developed into a fierce inferno. The incident was dealt
with by Fordingbridge, Cranborne and Salisbury crews.
Fire at John Loaders warehouse, Martin Drove End – 2nd August 2000
Another serious property fire occurred at Woodside Cottage, Horton Way, Verwood on the 19th October. The ground floor and
bedrooms of this house were seriously damaged with a Fordingbridge crew attending.
Two unusual rescues came Fordingbridge’s way towards the end of 2000. On the 9th November they were called to release a little
boys finger from a wooden toy train and on the 6th December they had to rescue a man from an overturned golf buggy way out in a
field at Martin.
An electrical fire broke out in the premises of Carl Hillwood hairdressers in the High Street, Fordingbridge on the 21st December
2000. A very impressive pall of smoke bellowed from the front door when Fordingbridge crews arrived but the fire was soon
extinguished with little damage.
An extremely eventful afternoon for Fordingbridge on the 14th April 2001 saw two serious property fires break out within an hour of
each other. The first was at Meadow Cottage in Woodgreen and saw much of the house damaged by a severe fire. The second
more devastating incident, at Deer Holt in Stuckton, started as a chimney fire. Sadly the fire spread very quickly and soon
developed into a major fire requiring the attendance of eight pumps. The property was completely destroyed and had to be totally
The fire ravaged ruin of Deer Holt in Stuckton
Numerous pigs were rescued by Fordingbridge and Salisbury firefighters after a fire broke out in a barn at Botleys Farm, Downton
on the 24th April 2001.
The Water Carrier from Fordingbridge attended a twenty five pump fire in a facory unit at Ferndown Industrial Estate, Dorset on the
22nd June 2001. The fire caused a huge column of smoke which was visible from miles around.
Fire at Ferndown Industrial Estate – 22nd June 2001
A smoke alarm, which had been presented to a young Fordingbridge schoolgirl by the Fire Station, prevented a serious fire taking
hold in her home on the 25th June 2001. The sun’s rays had magnified on a mirror in the girls bedroom, at Hyde Aways in
Sandleheath, and eventually set fire to the curtains and bedding. Thankfully the smoke detector operated and raised the alarm and
Fordingbridge firefighters were able to prevent the fire spreading.
A barn and its contents were badly damaged in a fire at Padstow Farm in Frog Lane, Fordingbridge on the 16th September 2001
and Fordingbridge were in action again on the 16th October 2001 when they were called to rescue a young man who had got stuck
on a roof in Pickets Close whilst attempting to fix his TV aerial.
A builders blow torch was responsible for a fire which devastated Post Box Cottage in Blissford Hill on the 31st October 2001. The
thatched roof burnt furiously and three firefighters were slightly injured when part of the roof collapsed on them. A total of eight
pumps attended this incident.
Thatch roof fire at Post Box Cottage, Blissford
On the 10th December 2001 a caravan fire resulted in its occupant receiving serious burns at Hunters Moon in Furzehill whilst
later in the day Fordingbidge were called to assist at another thatch roof fire in a property under restoration at Coombe Bissett.
The old Scout hut at Courtwood Farm, Sandleheath was raised to the ground on the afternoon of the 16th March 2002 in a fire
which burnt fiercely for some time.
A thatch roof was badly damaged in a ten pump incident at Anna Lane in North Ripley near Ringwood on the 9th April 2002.
Fordingbridge crews attended and assisted with the removal of the large thatched roof.
Fordingbridge Fire Station personnel 2001
Back Row L-R: R.Freeman, D.Palmer, D.Smith, D.Stone, K.Gray, M.West, P.White, J.Hesford
Front Row L-R: D.Horsburgh, P.Dorrington, C.Coley, S.Coles, J.Mouland, D.Jones, K.Nicklen, S.Waine
The New Year started with the first call of 2002 being received only eleven minutes into the 1st January. Fordingbridge were called
to Woodside Road, Bemerton Heath, Salisbury and rescued a female from a first floor window who was trapped due to a fire on
the ground floor.
Fordingbridge received a new Water Tender Ladder (P960 JTR) on the 13th February 2002.
A thatch roof was badly damaged in a ten pump incident at Anna Lane in North Ripley near Ringwood on the 9th April 2002.
Fordingbridge crews attended and assisted with the removal of the large thatched roof
Thatch Roof fire at North Ripley – 9th April 2002
Another thatch roof was destroyed on the 7th October 2002 at Brookside Cottage in Godshill Wood. This property was way down a
narrow track and oncoming appliances had difficulty gaining access to this nine pump fire.
A large horse had to be rescued from a muddy bog at Densome Corner, Woodgreen on the 19th October after it had become
trapped by the legs whilst out riding with its owner.
The 7th November 2002 saw a garage badly damaged in a fire at Normandy Way, Fordingbridge whilst in the early hours of the
following day a barn was destroyed in a fire at Flood Street in Burgate.
When an elderly lady became trapped in the framework of her bicycle in Bartons Road a Fordingbridge crew had the delicate task
of releasing her badly injured leg before she could be taken off to hospital on the 10th November 2002.
A large fire at Hinchelsea House in Brockenhurst, on the 6th December 2002, saw the attendance of eight pumps as well as
Fordingbridge’s Water Carrier. The blaze severely damaged this large wooden building which was undergoing renovation at the
Hinchelsea House, Brockenhurst – 6th December 2002
The final call for 2002 was to a six pump property fire at Bridge House, Stapleford, Wiltshire on the 31st December.
Ogdens Dairy Farm at Ogdens was extensively damaged in a fire on the 12th March 2003. This thatch roof blaze required the
attendance of nine pumps to save it from total destruction.
A large forest fire was attended by Fordingbridge at Newmans Lane, Holt on the 31st March whilst another major heath fire at
Tricketts Cross in Ferndown was attended on the 12th April 2003.
Some outbuildings and various items of farm equipment were totally destroyed in an afternoon blaze at Harbridge Farm in
Harbridge on the 16th April 2003. The incident had a slightly dramatic moment when an acetylene cylinder was discovered in the
debris but fortunately it was found to be empty.
The following day Fordingbridge were called to assist at a twenty five pump forest fire in St. Stephens Castle Nature Reserve,
Coopers Lane, Verwood. A large area of forest, several outbuildings and numerous cars was destroyed in this blaze.
Cars burnt furiously at St. Stephens Castle – 17th April 2003
A fatal road accident occurred on the B3078 at Bramshaw Telegraph when a car was hit by a lorry going the opposite way on the
19th May 2003. Fordingbridge and Lyndhurst crews released two casualties from the vehicle.
Two outbuildings and many years of possessions and memories were sadly lost in a fire at a property called Deer Lee in Furzehill
on the 7th July 2003.
A case of vandalism caused a serious health risk to local children on the 28th July 2003. The summer holiday play scheme had to
be evacuated due to the Fordingbridge Junior School swimming pool being broken in to and numerous chemicals being dumped
into the water giving off some rather toxic fumes. Crews from Fordingbridge, Ringwood and St. Marys stood by at the scene for
several hours before it was deemed safe to hand the situation over to a specialist company.
Protective equipment in use at Fordingbridge Junior School
Fordingbridge were in action again at a four pump fire when the famous Red Lion Hotel in Salisbury suffered a fire in a bedroom
and along external cladding on the 9th August 2003 which was one of the hottest days of the summer!
Fire at The Red Lion Hotel, Salisbury – 9th August 2003
On the 22nd August 2003 a helicopter made an emergency, but safe, landing in a field just off the A338 at Harbridge with
Fordingbridge standing by whilst it was recovered by staff from Bournemouth Airport.
Helicopter landing at Harbridge – 22nd August 2003
Also in August, on the 28th, Fordingbridge firefighters had to come to the dramatic rescue of a young boy on holiday in the area. A
call was received to the Rockbourne Roman Villa and on arrival the crew were faced with a child with a piece of authentic chain
mail wedged fast around his neck. With the careful operation of a pair of snips the historic artefact was carefully removed from the
young man and returned to the museum!
A fierce blaze late at night on the 4th September 2003 totally destroyed a large wooden toilet block at Longbeech campsite at
Stoney Cross. The blaze was successfully extinguished by Fordingbridge and Lyndhurst firefighters.
The evening of the 16th October 2003 was to prove a busy one for the Fordingbridge crews. Firstly they were called to rescue a
large cow that had fallen into the River Avon at Charford Manor Farm. After considerable pushing and pulling the grateful animal
was dragged to safety and placed in a nice warm pen for the night.
The second ‘shout’ of the evening brought about a first for Fordingbridge. Both the Water Tender Ladder and the Water Carrier
were mobilised to a fifteen pump property fire at St. Anthonys Road in Westbourne, Bournemouth. The entire house was totally
engulfed by fire.
St. Anthony’s Road in Bournemouth – 16th October 2003
The thatched roof of the Apple Tree Inn at Redlynch was severely damaged after a chimney fire spread to the thatch on the 20th
October 2003. The fire took several hours to bring under control with crews from both Hampshire and Wiltshire working together.
Fordingbridge received new Breathing Apparatus sets on the 5th November 2003. Manufactured by Draegar the new sets featured
individual face masks for all personnel and modern state of the art technology to help improve the safety of BA wearers at
The end of 2003 saw Fordingbridge Fire Station with its busiest ever year on record with a total of 260 incidents attended
Fordingbridge Fire Station 2003
A Fordingbridge crew attended a fatal road traffic accident on the A338 at Redbrook on the 27th February 2004 whilst the following
afternoon they successfully saved the thatched roof of Forest Cottage in Hyde after a hot ember had come out of the chimney pot
and landed in the surrounding thatch. Luckily a neighbour spotted the smouldering roof which enabled the quick arrival of
Fordingbridge, Ringwood and Cranborne crews and prevented the situation becoming much worse.
Fordingbridge Fire Station personnel – February 2004
Back Row L-R: Leading Firefighter P. White, Leading Firefighter J. Mouland, Sub Officer S. Coles,Leading Firefighter C. Coley, Firefighter D. Palmer
Middle Row L-R: Firefighter S. Waine, Firefighter D. Smith, Firefighter D. Stone, Firefighter S. White, Firefighter J. Hesford, Firefighter M. West
Front Row L-R: Firefighter P. Dorrington, Firefighter D. Horsburgh, Firefighter R. Freeman, Firefighter D. Jones, Station Officer J. Hinton (Link Officer), Firefighter K. Nicklen
Also in February 2004 Fordingbridge’s appliances were all adorned with large station 47 numbers to ease identification at large incidents