The West Briton has taken its campaign to save 24-hour fire cover to the streets – by organising a 16-mile ‘Station to Station’ march.
The paper, which has been running a Save Our Stations campaign opposing proposed cuts to the fire service, organised the march between the two stations under threat – Falmouth and Camborne.
Around 250 protestors gathered in Falmouth early on Saturday where they were led off on the march by a vintage fire engine. The route then took in Penryn before heading across country to Redruth and then on to Camborne, where a protest rally was held.
Some 45 marchers completed the entire 16-mile route including West Briton editor-in-chief Andy Cooper, Falmouth community editor Jeff Reines and Camborne community editor Jonathan Carter. The march’s numbers were swelled through all the main towns by many supporters.
In Redruth a traditional Cornish marching band led the march through the town and at the Camborne rally marchers were addressed by Andy, local politicians and a representative from the Fire Brigades Union.
A collection took place throughout the march and raised almost £275 for the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund.
The West Briton launched its SOS Campaign to save 24-hour cover in July and has been lobbying Cornwall County Council to reverse its decision. Hundreds of readers have backed the campaign via letter and e-mail.
The whole issue of fire cover in the county was then put under a national spotlight in August following the tragic fire at the Penhallow Hotel in Newquay, when three guests died.
Andy said: “We felt the march would be a clear demonstration to councillors that the public wholeheartedly backs our campaign to save the stations. It comes just ahead of a critical meeting this week and we wanted a clear show of public support.
“I honestly believe on this issue the West Briton is more in touch with local feeling than the council is and the support we had on Saturday truly proved that.
“The feeling as we marched through the main towns was truly inspiring.”
The West Briton will publish a special march supplement this week and there has been rolling coverage of the march and the campaign at www.thisiscornwall.co.uk