Kelvin ‘Barney’ Pugh, aged 69 years, passed away on Friday 17th April 2015. Barney, as he was known though-out the service, he served at Bath Fire Station for all of his career.
The Funeral Service was held at West Wiltshire Crematorium on 29th April 2015.
Kelvin ‘Barney’ Pugh joined County of Avon Fire Brigade in 1974, after a variety of jobs – the Fire Service was to be his longest employer. As far as is know, he acquired the nickname ‘Barney’ from the 1960’s children’s TV series ‘Trumpton’, in which the local Fire Brigade turned out to the rhyme of ‘Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub’.
After initial training he was posted to White Watch, B1 Bath, after a short while transferring to Red Watch, where he remained until retirement. Early in his career he became involved with the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund (now The Firefighters’ Charity). He served as Station Representative for B1 Bath, ‘B’ Division Secretary then Chairman, before finally serving on the Brigade Council and South West Group Council until he retired. He was instrumental in acquiring an ex-County of Avon fire appliance, a Dennis F12 Pump Escape, then a Dennis F28 Water Tender (ex-Paulton), both used for fund raising at community events and as a Carol Float at Christmas. Barney and members of ‘B’ Division stations raised thousands of pounds over the years for the Fund.
Being a Rep, he visited serving and ex-members and their dependents who required assistance or convalescence at the Fund’s Centres. On station at Bath, Barney was involved with the Fire Safety aspect of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, introducing training packs for Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards. Groups of young people would attend training sessions during evening visits to gain this award.
Barney was always a character on Watch and those of us who served with him can recall many amusing incidents over the years.
He retired from the Service in 1998 and suffered some health problems concerning his heart, which he largely overcame with treatment. It didn’t prevent him from again working in various jobs including the motor trade, coach driving, Traffic Warden, St John’s Ambulance driver and travelling the country’s canals on his canal barge. About 3 years ago, he was diagnosed with Cancer. He underwent therapy and showed slow recovery, but at the beginning of 2015 he took ill again and sadly passed away 17 April 2015.