Heroic Oxfordshire firefighters honoured for over 400 years’ service in luxury event at Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace hosted heroic firefighters for an awards ceremony on April 17th which took place in The Orangery.

The Queen’s Long Service and Good Conduct medals awarded in special event which took place in The Orangery of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and saw over 140 people attend.

Oxfordshire’s Lord Lieutenant presented ‘Her Majesty, The Queen’s Long Service and Good Conduct’ medals to 16 members of operational staff, all who have served for 20 years.

Station Manager Pat Rosum was also presented with a distinguished certificate for his outstanding 45 years’ service and Watch Manager Charles Williams for 40 years’ service.

Additionally, Christine Barefield was presented with her 30 years’ certificate.

Blenheim Palace’s Operations Director, Heather Carter, said: “We were incredibly humbled to host the awards ceremony that celebrates the success of Oxfordshire’s Community Safety Services and the firefighters who have dedicated 20 years or more service to its communities.”

The event was catered for by Searcys, Blenheim Palace’s in-house caterers who provided a buffet menu which included a selection of sandwiches, chilli glazed chicken, pork pies with pickle and mustard, goats cheese and red onion tarts in The Orangery.

The event was particularly special for the Palace, who had its own brigade from the mid to late 1800s and owned a variety of fire appliances, including a Merryweather Fire Engine.

Believed to have been built by Merryweather & Sons in 1890, the horse-drawn engine used a steam boiler to create pressure to pump water. It was mounted on a four-wheeled sprung carriage.

The evening also saw local station Didcot named Oxfordshire Fire Station of the Year.