Town pays tribute to respected firefighter

Michael Arlow's funeral procession going through Fakenham Town Centre. Picture: Danielle Booden

Michael Arlow's funeral procession going through Fakenham Town Centre. Picture: Danielle Booden - 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.

A man smiling in his firefighter's uniform

Michael Arlow, Known as Paddy, was a retained firefighter at Fakenham Station for more than 29 years. - Credit: Heather Goward

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. 

Michael Arlow's funeral procession going through Fakenham Town Centre. Picture: Danielle Booden

Michael Arlow's funeral procession going through Fakenham Town Centre. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Michael Arlow's coffin being carried on a Volvo Pump Fire Engine through Fakenham Town Centre. Pictu

Michael Arlow's coffin being carried on a Volvo Pump Fire Engine through Fakenham Town Centre. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden


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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. 

Five firefighters dressed in uniform who were the pullbearers for Michael Arlow's funeral. Picture:

Five firefighters dressed in uniform who were the pullbearers for Michael Arlow's funeral. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

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.


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