Tributes paid to former Eastbourne fire chief

Warm tributes have been paid to a former East Sussex fire officer who spent 40 years serving in Eastbourne and surrounding areas, and who died recently.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 12:29 pm
Ken Gould is pictured (left) receiving his Long Service Good Conduct Medal from Archie Winning CBE, former Chief Fire Officer of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
Ken Gould is pictured (left) receiving his Long Service Good Conduct Medal from Archie Winning CBE, former Chief Fire Officer of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

Ken Gould, who was 89 and lived at Willingdon, passed away last month in Grange House Care Home, Grange Road, Eastbourne

Mr Gould transferred to Eastbourne County Borough Fire Brigade from Surrey in 1968 where he took up the post of station officer, firstly at the former station in Bourne Street and then at the new Whitley Road station. In the early 1970s, when the four separate borough brigades amalgamated, he worked on the plans for a single control and communications system.

He was promoted to assistant divisional officer and during his tenure oversaw hotel inspections, the training of retained firefighters across many East Sussex stations as well as dealing with major incidents – including the large Booth’s Hotel fire in Langney Road, Eastbourne, in 1981. Upon retiring operationally, he undertook a final stint as a civilian fire prevention officer before eventually leaving the service at 65.

Former colleagues have spoken warmly about their time serving with Mr Gould, commenting on his expertise and good humour and that he was much admired and respected by those he served with – “a real gentleman”.

His final visit to the Whitley Road fire station was in February this year in the midst of the latest lockdown when, just on the off chance, his youngest twin daughters stopped by with him.

“We were so touched that the shutters on the engine bay were duly lifted for Dad to have one last, socially distanced peek at his old stomping ground while he was greeted with a respectful `Good Morning Sir’ by those on duty,” they said.

Due to the current circumstances a private funeral service was held on June 15 2021 for close family and friends.

Mr Gould is survived by his wife Sheila and his extended family of six children, grandchildren and in-laws.