Sheffield youngster, 4, recreates Whaley Bridge dam collapse with toys in grandad’s garden

When four-year-old Freddie McManus created the partial dam collapse in Whaley Bridge with his toys in his grandad’s garden in Eckington, he never expected he’d be in the spotlight.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 9:57 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 5:26 pm

But his model of the operation to drain the Toddbrook Reservoir caught the attention of a local journalist, who filmed him using his helicopter, fire engine and police car toys, an old crate and piece of wood to play out the scene and save the village that he’d watched on TV.

After seeing his inspired game in the news, Derbyshire Police got in touch with little Freddie to see if he fancied seeing some of the real equipment in action.

Freddie and his family made it along to Staveley Fire Station during the Christmas period for a VIP tour.

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Freddie was over the moon.

The youngster also got to meet local PCSO Chris Fallon, who brought along a police car and parts of the uniform to try out.

Freddie and his family, who live in Sheffield, came along for the visit where he got to use on of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service's hose to pump water, as they would have from the reservoir, as well as a fire engine ride around the car park and getting his own message from control.

Freddie's dad, Alex McManus, said: “Freddie had a brilliant time visiting Staveley Fire Station, reporting for duty in his firefighter uniform.

“Everyone was very welcoming and took the time to explain things to him, and he really took it all in.

“He would like to be a firefighter when he grows up, after seeing the courage and hard work of our emergency services on the television and meeting them face to face.”

A spokesman for Derbyshire Police said: “We would like to thank Mr McManus for sharing these wonderful photographs of the morning with us, and wish Freddie the very best wishes for his future career aspirations.”

1,500 residents Whaley Bridge residents was evacuated on August 1 2019 after flooding caused damage to the dam at Toddbrook Reservoir.