He kept Long Sutton safe for over 40 years

Roy Shipley with his beloved trailer pump. ANL-161013-144717001

Roy Shipley with his beloved trailer pump. ANL-161013-144717001

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Loving tributes have been paid to retired firefighter Roy Shipley who dedicated more than 40 years of his life to serving the people of Long Sutton and the surrounding area.

Mr Shipley, who lived in Long Sutton all his life, sadly passed away on September 16, a week after suffering a fall at his home. He was 88.

Firefighters (from left) Pete Oliver, Tim Sullivan, Roy Shipley and John Clarke pictured during an open day at Long Sutton Fire Station in 1994. ANL-161013-144652001

Firefighters (from left) Pete Oliver, Tim Sullivan, Roy Shipley and John Clarke pictured during an open day at Long Sutton Fire Station in 1994. ANL-161013-144652001

He is survived by daughters Debra Bath and Lisa Flaxman, both of Ashwell, in Hertfordshire, three grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

Mr Shipley was well known in Long Sutton where he joined the National Fire Service during the war years as a runner. When it disbanded in 1948 he became a retained firefighter serving until his retirement in 1988, after which he continued to collect fire service memorabilia as well as restoring and showing trailer pumps.

He also worked for companies including Green King as a travelling salesman and in its offices.

Former colleagues, friends and residents have taken to Facebook to pay tribute to Mr Shipley, describing him as a true gentlemen, and one who always had time for others.

Roy Shipley (centre) dedicated more than 40 years of his life to serving the people of Long Sutton and surrounding area. ANL-161013-144705001

Roy Shipley (centre) dedicated more than 40 years of his life to serving the people of Long Sutton and surrounding area. ANL-161013-144705001

Mrs Bath said: “We had to have a bell in the house and it was right outside my bedroom door – so I knew every shout he went on, and I used to wait up for him wanting to know where he had been.

“There are so many stories I remember about him. He helped a lot of people, I am so proud of him. He was a firefighter, and one of life’s fighters.”

Long Sutton Fire Station manager Richard King described Mr Shipley as a great character.

“Roy would often attend our station on a Thursday night and reminisce about the incidents he and his crew attended during his lengthy career,” he said.

Long Sutton Fire Station, West Street, pictured in 1967. ANL-161013-144639001

Long Sutton Fire Station, West Street, pictured in 1967. ANL-161013-144639001

“He would also look to 
acquire any bits and bobs to keep his beloved trailer pump in good working order.

“I remember him and his friends and colleagues even attended an open day we organised just to show ‘us young uns’ – as he called us – how it was done.”

He said it was comforting to know Mr Shipley’s resting place prior to his funeral was the Co-Op Funeral Home, in West Street – the site of the town’s old fire station, which provided him with so many happy memories.

“Our station has a history of being one of the best, always performing well, and it’s all because of the teaching that Roy and his colleagues passed down through the generations – we just try to continue the legacy they gave us,” added Mr King.

“He will be very sadly missed by all at the fire station both past and present and it will be a great honour for our crew to escort Roy to the crematorium to say our final goodbyes.”

Mr Shipley’s funeral takes place on Friday, October 21, at South Lincolnshire Crematorium, Surfleet, at noon.

Donations to be split between the RBL, Fire Service Benevolent Fund and RAFA.