Fun for all the family at 999 Day as Port Solent welcomes line-up of vintage and working emergency services vehicles

CHILDREN decked out in firefighter and police officer costumes turned out with their families to enjoy Port Solent's 999 Day.

By Emily Jessica Turner
Sunday, 5th September 2021, 10:20 am

Thousands of people are estimated to have visited the event, which took place on the boardwalk.

Saturday’s free event aimed to give visitors of all ages an insight into the emergency services, and featured a line-up of vehicles from a variety of emergency services.

Port Solent welcomed a range of vintage police cars and fire engines on display for visitors to explore and enjoy, as well as working vehicles.

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Sara Parker, 36, Miles, two, and Jonny Bell, 34 Picture: Mike Cooter (040921)

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Visitors had the chance to see inside the vehicles and meet those who work for Hampshire Fire and Rescue, Raynet (Emergency Communications Service), Hampshire Police, the RNLI, South Coast Ambulance Service, and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

Families stood in long queues to see inside ambulances and police cars, with one mum saying she had been waiting upwards of 20 minutes.

She believes that the big turnout is due to a lack of events happening due to the pandemic, and said: 'It's because there hasn't been anything like this going on for a while.'

Two-year-old twins Daisy and Charlie Brewer in one of the vintage fire engines. Picture: Mike Cooter (040921)

The event was organised by Port Solent, along with people who take part in the Port Solent car meets.

Lisa Fowler, Port Solent's events, marketing and centre administrator, said: ‘It’s been brilliant, really good - we were running out of parking.

‘It’s lovely, so nice to see so many people enjoying themselves doing something normal.’

Port Solent has hosted a 999 Day a couple of times before, but the pandemic meant that the event was not held in 2020.

Emma Hutchinson, 31, Arlo Davidson, five, and Kieran Davidson, 29 Picture: Mike Cooter (040921)

Youngsters enjoyed face painting, and had their picture taken with fire investigation dogs.

They could also investigate inside an old police car and USA cop patrol vehicles.

There were also a number of stalls from organisations and charities, including Solent Rescue Independent Lifeboat and the RNLI.

Olivia Wright, four, getting her face painted at Port Solent's 999 day. Picture: Mike Cooter (040921)

Margaret Fleming, of Portsmouth, has volunteered with the RNLI for 31 years, and hosted a stall selling items to raise funds for the charity’s work.

She said: ‘We’ve been very busy, mostly selling toys for the kiddies, as well as cards and calendars.’

Port Solent’s 999 Day will make a return next year.

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