HISTORY, we’re often told, has a habit of repeating itself. At least, this is what we were all preparing for on Monday morning.
Those who remember the great storm of 1987 will remember the sleepless night listening to the destructive gales shaking houses, windows, fences and trees.
Those in the worst-hit areas suffered terribly in the freak event and none of us were happy to be facing the prospect of a repeat of the disaster this week.
So when we woke up on Monday morning to find Ashbourne was little more than ‘a bit soggy’ we breathed a collective sigh of relief. History, in this instance, didn’t repeat itself.
However, history appears to be repeating at Ashbourne Fire Station. This week we see a reaction from the town to re-emerging plans to do away with one of our two fire engines.
Last time this threat was placed on the Park Road station’s second appliance the opposition was strong. Ashbourne Town Council joined our fire and rescue officers in a campaign and the fight began to save the vehicle from being taken away.
So strong was the campaign that the service’s chief executive Sean Frayne eventually agreed to keep the second fire engine on in the town.
This time the engine faces the axe for a second time, and its replacement with a smaller response vehicle has once again been mooted as part of a wider restructure but many would argue that this time the stakes are higher and the need for a second engine is far greater.
Looking at the wider picture, forseeing the extra pressure the service might find itself under once mergers, station closures and relocations have had an impact, Ashbourne could find itself in greater need than ever of a second fire engine.
So here we go again. History is repeating itself. We might have missed the storm, but it appears another one is brewing.