Company’s remarkable gesture following Kidderminster Hoo Farm Fire

Hoo Farm presentation

A Kidderminster company has made a significant donation to the Fire Fighters Charity to show its gratitude for the work carried out by Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service at the Hoo Farm Industrial Estate fire in the town.

Steel stockholder John Tainton occupy the neighbouring site to MCD, whose premises were destroyed in the fire on 6 December 2021.

Prompt action by crews prevented the fire from spreading and John Tainton has now recognized their efforts by handing over a cheque for £10,000 to the Fire Fighters Charity.

“We wished to make a significant donation to the Fire Fighters Charity,” said the company’s operations director Richard Wandless.

“It’s only because of the fire service that we have a business, a livelihood and jobs here now. To try to rebuild a business like ours from nothing would have taken a couple of years and we don’t have any other sites we could move the work to in the short term so it could have had very serious consequences – a business that has been in Kidderminster since the mid-1970s would probably have gone now were it not for the efforts of all the fire crews.

“In addition to being hugely professional in the midst of a really difficult situation the firefighters were also very helpful and genuinely nice people who took time later in the week to help us safely re-open our business.”

John Tainton is part of the Hall & Pickles Group, a family-owned business which can trace its history back eight generations to 1812. In Kidderminster, the company employs 90 workers, plus many more who work for suppliers.

“We closed on the afternoon of the fire, which was a Monday, but we were back up and running again the following Monday and our customers were very understanding of the circumstances,” said divisional director Roy Harwood, who attended the presentation with Mr Wandless and national sales director Neil Dudley.

“This is a very generous donation,” said Area Commander Jon Butlin who, along with Group Commanders Jon Laight and Amy Bailey, Station Commander Bob Sproat and Green Watch from Wyre Forest Fire Station received the cheque from Mr Wandless.

“The Fire Fighters Charity supports crews past and present and their families and is totally reliant on fundraising to run its three national centres and outreach services. That costs the charity around £9m each year to sustain, so this is a phenomenal gesture which will be massively appreciated.”