Our members are encouraged/persuaded/coerced into giving a talk about their lives before they retired and on March 21 it was the turn of Mike Ansell whose talk was entitled “Bomb Sites, Bootnecks and Blazes”.

Mike was born in Canning Town in 1950. Being close to the docks it was the most heavily bombed part of East London and his playgrounds were the bombsites and subsequently the building sites.

He joined the Royal Marines and described the training he experienced as brutal. He had varied turns of duty across the world including Australia, Singapore, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Arctic Norway and Northern Ireland.

Having completed his service career he then joined the Fire Service, serving in Bournemouth and Dorchester, before joining the Fire Service Training College at Moreton-in-Marsh as an instructor.

He undertook more travelling with training on oil rigs also in India, Libya and the Falkland Islands. Finally, he set up a consultancy to undertake fire service training.

This was probably the most unusual presentation we have had from one of our members and many of us were left thinking we had led somewhat uneventful lives. ALAN SMITH