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Memoirs and Biography

Gone to Blazes:

Life as a Cumbrian Fireman


Profits from this book are going to the Cumbria Branch Fire Service National Benevolent Fund

About this book:

  • ISBN: 095 407 114X (paperback)

  • Published 2002

  • Price £9.95 + postage

  • 196 pages

  • Illustrated with cartoons

About the Book:

This book has been described as a cross between London's Burning and Men Behaving Badly.

The author writes: "I quit school at 17. My first job was office based and far too boring. I left and took up the grand position of trainee analytical chemist; ever the pragmatist though, I couldn't see the attraction in boiling urine all day.

"I saw an ad, filled in a form and before I knew it I'd joined the Fire Service. More a vocation than a job, I'd found my niche; as the wife says 'Men don't grow up, the toys just get more expensive!'

"Nearly twenty years later I'm still at it and as enthusiastic as when I started, now how many people can say that about their work? I feel vindicated in my chosen path. I've learned how to laugh when it would be easier to cry, to see light amid the darkness and why study rooms really have sinks!"

In the often uncompromising Fireground situation humour is sustenance to the firefighter. This book captures the blackest of that humour to entertain you in a worthy cause.
I've been there, done these things and know just how grim the job can be. Support this book, laugh aloud in public places and aid those that help you when they themselves are in need.
Senior Divisional Officer Rick Lanigan, Chairman Cumbria Branch FSNBFund

Gone to Blazes gets close to the edge, but then boys will be boys, and who can blame them? An hilarious collection of tales, a real knock out, nice one! John H. Stracey, former undisputed World Welterweight Boxing Champion

Blazing tales from fireman David

Life as a fire-fighter can be dangerous and difficult which is why there has to be a lighter side to keep them all sane. And this is something that David Stubbings, of Calderbridge, knows all about.

As an industrial fire-fighter for the past 20 years, he has plenty of tales to tell and has put them together in a book, Gone to Blazes - Life as a Cumbrian Fireman. The book took David around 12 months to write, which he said was a great experience that he has thoroughly enjoyed. All profits will go to the Cumbria branch of the Fire Service Benevolent Fund.

David, 40, said he started jotting funny stories down two years ago in a notebook and then thought about rough ideas for chapters. After his friend, Ian Fearon, read a draft chapter and was very impressed he decided to keep going and eventually decided he would try to get it published.

The publisher has described the book as a cross between London's Burning and Men Behaving Badly. And the front cover has a warning that some may find it offensive.

"There is nothing gory or serious in the book, it's light-hearted, humorous and rude. It's not gratuitous, it's all in context. Anyone who has been in the services will have experienced similar incidents," he said.

Married to Jane, with two children, Jack, nine and Louise, six, David said there is always a good atmosphere at work. The anecdotes in the book are all based on true stories but the names, dates and locations have all been changed and the characters have all been mixed up. "The only character in there that is real is me," he said.

One of David's favourite stories was when the crew was called to an incident involving a farm. "We asked the farmer for refreshments because we had been there for hours. We asked for a cup of tea and his wife came back with a pink bucket of tea, a loaf of bread and a big pat of butter," said David. What they later found out, however, was that 20 minutes previously the bucket had been used to soak nappies - but by that time the officer in charge of the incident was already sipping a large mug of tea. The Whitehaven News, May 2002






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