Singing and dancing fun at senior citizens’ party in Portsmouth

From left: PO Adam Hilton,  Father Christmas, Captain Peter Towell, CPO Chris 'Paddy' Gilkes and Malcolm Dent

Engineers spread Christmas joy

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THEY are normally carrying round hoses and putting out blazes in protective gear.

But firefighters have many talents.

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year,  held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-394) PPP-151101-160229001

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year, held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-394) PPP-151101-160229001

They proved it yesterday when they swapped their usual uniform for suits, bow ties and microphones.

Crews from across the area put on a spectacular show of singing, dancing and comedy to entertain around 300 senior citizens at Portsmouth’s Guildhall.

Vicki Hammel, 73, of Greenwich Court, King Street, Southsea, said: ‘We come every time and thoroughly enjoy it.

‘It’s a great effort by the firefighters – they are excellent.

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year,  held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-383) PPP-151101-160206001

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year, held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-383) PPP-151101-160206001

‘Well done them for giving up their time to entertain the elderly.

‘Most of them probably don’t go anywhere.’

Marge Cooper, 79, also of Greenwich Court, said: ‘It’s great – the company and the atmosphere.’

Marge said that some of the acts were ‘hilarious’.

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''(l-r) Jasper Taylor (organiser) and Ann Taylor (guest) (not realted). ''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year,  held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-390) PPP-151101-160218001

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''(l-r) Jasper Taylor (organiser) and Ann Taylor (guest) (not realted). ''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year, held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-390) PPP-151101-160218001

She laughed: ‘It’s mind-boggling, some of them!’

Peter Cormick, 57, of Ladywood House, Plymouth Street, Southsea, said: ‘It’s good of the firefighters – they have enough on their plate.

‘They are cutting their numbers down, which is going to tell eventually.

‘Hopefully we won’t get a fire in our flat because it’s one of the tallest in the city.’

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''Performers on stage at The Guildhall. '''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year,  held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-437) PPP-151101-160240001

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''Performers on stage at The Guildhall. '''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year, held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-437) PPP-151101-160240001

Michael Mills, 68, also of Ladywood House, said: ‘It’s very nice they do it.

‘It makes a great afternoon for people.

‘It’s nice for us to support them because they do such a lot for us. It’s a nice gesture.’

Organiser firefighter Jasper Taylor, from Southsea fire station, said: ‘It’s a charity event that has been going for 33 years for senior citizens who live in sheltered accommodation.

‘Basically the firefighters take them out for the day, entertain and feed them.

‘Just ask the senior citizens – it’s a great event and they have a great time. We get a sense of wellbeing for doing it.’

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''Performers on stage at The Guildhall. ''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year,  held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-440) PPP-151101-160251001

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''Performers on stage at The Guildhall. ''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year, held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-440) PPP-151101-160251001

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''Performers on stage at The Guildhall. ''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year,  held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-478) PPP-151101-160302001

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''Performers on stage at The Guildhall. ''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year, held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-478) PPP-151101-160302001

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''Performers on stage at The Guildhall. ''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year,  held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-499) PPP-151101-160313001

150061_FF_PARTY_11/1/15''Performers on stage at The Guildhall. ''Guests at The Senior Citizens Annual New Years Party hosted by staff at Southsea Fire Station, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Now in its 33rd year, held at the Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150061-499) PPP-151101-160313001