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First female firefighter visits King's Lynn for International Women’s Day




As part of celebrations for International Women's Day, the woman hailed as the first ever female firefighter in Great Britain spoke at King's Lynn Town Hall last week.

Josephine Reynolds, who joined the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service in 1982 as a 17-year-old, spoke last Friday as part of a ‘Women Aloud’ series of events.

King's Lynn Town Hall Soroptimists International hosting event for International Women's Day. Pictured Left Guest Speaker Josephine Reynolds. President Kim Bramham. (7813334)
King's Lynn Town Hall Soroptimists International hosting event for International Women's Day. Pictured Left Guest Speaker Josephine Reynolds. President Kim Bramham. (7813334)

The events were organised by Soroptimist International, an organisation working to improve the lives of women and girls.

As well as being recognised for her firefighting, Josephine has explored the world including South America and Southern China, where she founded The Silk Road Design company.

She spoke on Friday, March 8 in the Town Hall before the Military Wives Choir performed for 30 minutes.

Kim Bramham, president of SI is pictured fourth from left next to guest speaker Josephine Reynolds, the UK’s first female firefighter (fifth from left). MLNF-19MF03052
Kim Bramham, president of SI is pictured fourth from left next to guest speaker Josephine Reynolds, the UK’s first female firefighter (fifth from left). MLNF-19MF03052

Lynn Town Hall was offered out free of charge by mayor Nick Daubney to accommodate the events such as a Bollywood dance workshop and a school art competition.

It was also supported financially by the Trustees of Audrey Muriel Stratford Charitable Trust.

The school art competition saw 350 entries from seven local primary schools across the age ranges of five to 11-years-old.

Kelsie Leach, a winner of the school art competition. Kelsie is a year-5 pupil at Gayton (7813358)
Kelsie Leach, a winner of the school art competition. Kelsie is a year-5 pupil at Gayton (7813358)

Mary Plant, of Soroptimist, said: "We were very impressed by the extent to which local schools are promoting female equality, teaching children about significant women, and empowering the women of the future.

"The club members would like to pass their sincere thanks to all the teachers involved."

The Rock Choir performed on the Saturday, and there was also a talk by Elizabeth Pye of Soroptimist entitled 'Audrey Stratford'.

Kyla Watson, a winner of the school art competition
Kyla Watson, a winner of the school art competition

There were also talks by Ursula Schorverth of SI Club Murgtal and Corinne Tereszczuk of SI King's Lynn regarding 'International Friendship'.

Closing speeches were then said by Kim Bramham and Nick Daubney at 4pm on the Saturday.

The individual winners of the school art competition were:

  • Kyla Watson, Gayton
  • Alfie Pitcher, Holly Meadows
  • Charmain Jones, Greyfriars
  • Hette Koulmann, Greyfriars
  • Kelsie Leach, Gayton


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