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TRIBUTES TO FORMER CITY FIREFIGHTER.

Byline: Duncan Gibbons

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Coventry firefighter who has died, aged 70.

John Fudge rose to the rank of sub-officer during a 30-year career at the stations in Hales Street, Radford Road and Foleshill.

He had been ill for some time and passed away at home in Browns Lane, Allesley, on March 18 with his family by his side.

Firefighters in full ceremonial uniform are hoping to carry John's coffin during his funeral at All Saints Church in Allesley at 12.30pm tomorrow.

The service will be followed by a burial at Canley Cemetery at 1.45pm.

John leaves wife Margaret, three grown-up children and seven grandchildren.

He and Margaret would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary next year.

John's daughter Linda Millerchip said: "He was a kind and loving person, a loving dad and grampy.

"He was a lovely man. He is going to be really sadly missed."

John was born in Cardiff in August 1941 and served in the Merchant Navy before joining the fire service in Coventry in 1962.

He was posted to the old fire station in Hales Street, city centre, and lived in one of the specially-built fireman's houses in Chauntry Place, dubbed "Flame Alley" by locals.

He was on duty when two major fires broke out in government buildings in Gosford Street in the mid-1960s, and when the main stand burned down at Coventry City's Highfield Road ground in 1968. When Hales Street closed in 1976 John moved to the new headquarters in Radford Road, and spent two years at Foleshill fire station until he retired in 1992.

He had risen through the ranks to become a sub-officer.

He went on to work as a cash van driver for Securicor, based at Baginton, for about ten years.

John loved gardening and enjoyed going on caravan holidays with Margaret, especially to Dawlish in Devon.

Fred Tunstall, secretary of the Coventry branch of the National Association of Retired Firefighters, said: "We served on the same watch at Hales Street in the mid-60s and were neighbours in Flame Alley.

"He was very good fireman and friend."

CAPTION(S):

KIND AND LOVING MAN: John Fudge, circled, pictured with members of Blue Watch in Foleshill in 1991
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 27, 2012
Words:373
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