Town pays tribute to respected firefighter
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Fakenham residents have paid tribute to a highly-respected firefighter who served the town for more than 29 years.
People braved the falling snow and freezing temperatures at Fakenham's Market Place on Wednesday to pay their respects to Michael Arlow, who passed away on January 20, age 81.
Mr Arlow's coffin was carried on a Volvo pump engine for the procession, as onlookers either bowed their heads or clapped.
The engine headed up Oak Street with its sirens ringing out as a mark of respect before heading to Cromer for a private service.
Best known as Paddy, Mr Arlow had lived in Fakenham for more than 50 years.
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He was born in Wighton in 1939 and brought up as an only child by his mother and his uncles, who lived nearby.
Mr Arlow started his career as an apprentice in a tractor workshop and did National Service, serving with the British Army's Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps.
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He later recalled making the long journey to Blandford in Dorset for eight weeks of ‘square bashing’ - military drills performed repeatedly on a barrack square.
Mr Arlow was also a driver for a major general, and his final posting was to Hounslow, which is where he met his wife-to-be, Brenda.
The couple were married at Bridport in Dorset in 1961, and they lived in Briston for six years before settling into a home in Heath Lane, Fakenham, in 1967.
Their family grew to include children Gary and Julie, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Mr Arlow had many jobs throughout his life, including working as a security guard for 29 years at Ross Foods.
He trained as a retained firefighter, and although many a family meal was interrupted by call-outs, he always felt a sense of pride in what he was doing.
He loved football - both watching and playing - and he refereed the game for 12 years.
With Brenda's encouragement, he was baptised at Fakenham Baptist Church, and the couple made many friends in the church community.
Donations in Mr Arlow's memory can be made to Fakenham’s Rosemary Rooms dementia support group may be sent to Gowards Funeral Services, Bridge Street, Fakenham, NR21 9AY or via www.gowardsfuneralservices.co.uk.