It has been a source of fascination for generations of schoolboys.

And for Chris Wisken an enthusiasm for the fire brigade has lasted for more than three decades.

Now, the 34-year-old, from Harleston, is planning to write book on his passion, exploring the history of Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Since the age of two, the former Archbishop Sancroft High School pupil has revelled in everything associated with the fire service.

Mr Wisken, of Weavers Croft, said: “I have been interested in Norfolk’s fire service for 32 years and over the last ten years I been especially interested in its history.

"I have brought and read several books related to our fire service’s past and, although there have been books written on individual stations around Norfolk, to my knowledge there has never been one written on the history of our fire service as a whole.”

One such book included A History of the Norwich City Fire Brigade by B. S. Veriod, in which it is revealed that a century and a half before the Great Fire of London much of Norwich was devastated by its own blaze, in 1505.

Then in 1668, just two years after the Great Fire of London, Norwich had its first fire engine, kept in St Andrew’s Hall.

And in 1797, Thomas Bignold set up the Norwich Union Society for the Insurance of Houses, Stock and Merchandise from Fire which, at that time, included its own trained fire brigades.

He added: “I have been reading this fascinating book over a few days and it has got me thinking about the history of the fire service in Norwich and how much has changed since this book was written.

“I'm planning to write a similar version of this and bring it up to date, as well as to incorporate other stations in Norfolk.

“If there are any former and current firefighters willing to share memories and photos, please do contact me.”

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