To all fellow preservationists. Please find below an e-mail I sent to members of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Preservation Group prior to their Annual General Meeting in November 2010 to try and resolve the situation regarding the return of items of my equipment they have in their storage facility at Linwood.
To the members of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Preservation Group.
It is now two years since I resigned from Strathclyde Fire Brigade Preservation Group. During that time I have been trying to reclaim my equipment from your storage facility at Linwood, but without success.
Most recently three of your members collected a Duluge Set from my property and I informed them that I wish to re-establish contact with SFRPG with the aim of having my equipment returned. I have heard nothing since.
As I explained to Eddie Gray, Kenny Couborough and Davie MacAusland, this is a situation that can be resolved easily and quickly and without both parties incurring hefty legal fees. I have returned items that I had in my possesion to SFRPG – the list ran into pages, and yet to date I have received nothing in return, hardly a fair, honourable or morally just situation.
I have been collecting fire brigade memorabilia for most of my adult life and long before a preservation group was formed. I wish to stress that at no time was my collection loaned or gifted to another group. I would now like to reclaim that property and draw a line under this whole episode. Perhaps someone will raise this matter at your forthcoming Annual General Meeting and hopefully a satisfactory resolution may yet be possible.
It is my belief that members were told to ignore my e-mail.
According to one of their committee members it would appear that I have little or no chance of ever getting what is legally my property returned to me. Wrong, I will never give up the fight to reclaim my equipment as SFRPG have no right whatsoever to retain my property.
For a preservation group to behave in such a manner is appaling but this is unfortunately part of a campaign of orchestrated vileness directed towards me. I have also had equipment removed from my appliance (NHS 196) by members of SFRPG when it was in storage (with approval of Inverclyde Council), in the old fire station in Greenock within the Municipal Buildings. They (SFRPG) decided I had no claim to the Coventry Climax Light Portable Pump on my F8 and decided to remove it from the vehicle, an act that involved moving my vehicle to gain access to the pump. The pump was then taken to Johnstone Fire Station and stored there, this being despite having their own storage facility at Linwood, was this done to conceal the act from the rest of their membership? I contacted Strathclyde Police and reported the pump as missing. The officer I spoke to said the the act of moving my vehicle was technically ‘Taking without Consent’. I also contacted Strathclyde Fire & Rescue to inform them of the removal of my property. After several days the pump was located. Strathclyde Fire & Rescue then stepped in and had the pump taken to Cowcaddens Workshops where I inspected it for damage which apart from some paintwork damage, was intact. SF&R then returned to pump to Greenock.
I must emphasize that at no point was I contacted beforehand to discuss ownership of the pump, had I been given the opportunity and the courtesy, then ownership could have been established and this pityfull and shameful excercise avoided.
I found this whole episode pathetic and rather sad in that someone who had devoted a large part of his life establishing Strathclyde Fire Brigade Preservation Group could be treated in such a disgraceful manner. I was offered no apology from the Preservation Group or indeed from Strathclyde Fire & Rescue for the conduct of the Preservation Group that uses their title. The people involved in sanctioning and taking part in this dispicable act should have done, and still should do the honourable thing and resign from the Preservation Group, or have been made to resign for bringing the preservation movement and Strathclyde Fire & Rescue into disrepute . In my opinion those involved in this act should hang their heads in shame, they have done themselves, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue and fire service preservationists everywhere, a great disservice.
As if to add insult to injury, later that year members of SFRPG tried to have me removed from the Committee of the Fire Heritage Network UK for no other reason than to vent their personal hatred of me. Their attempts were unanimously defeated.
The fire service has been my life. My father and two uncles were also members of the fire service. I was born in the old Central Fire Station in Glasgow and later served in the Glasgow Fire Service and then Strathclyde Fire Brigade. It will take more than the efforts of a few vindictive individuals to have any impact on my enthusiasm and love for the history of the fire service.
Tonight I posted a notice on SFRPG’s guest book but I realise it has odds of a snowballs chance in hell of being published, the message read…………………
Remember and let the general public know that not one item of equipment belonging to Bob Wright and being held in the Linwood storage facility, has been returned to him despite the fact that he has returned numerous items to SFRPG. Hardly a fair situation.