Always on duty!

The Lower Tidmarsh Volunteer Fire Brigade is a local fire-fighting team in the English village of Lower Tidmarsh. Inept, unprofessional and inexperienced, the brigade presides on the top floor of their firehouse. The brigade is a six-member team; the only female member (Sue Bond/Sue Upton) is usually the last one down the pole as the men look up her skirt as she slides down. The fire engine is an older model engine that needs to be cranked with the female firefighter's underwear getting caught in the crank. On the way to the fire, the brigade gets distracted by a stop at the Black Lion Pub, a bathroom break in a field, apples from a low-hanging tree and hitch-hikers (Louise English and Lee Gibson) from whom their elderly member catches up with them.

On arrival, the fire chief takes care to ring the doorbell to confirm the actress first despite the fact the elderly member has already chopped through the door. The owner (Liz Fraser/Clare Smalley) immediately sends them on their way. The ladder is whipped out on location, but the old man gets dizzy on the second rung, and the fire chief has to lead the way. He is quick to change windows when he sees the more voluptuous and attractive blonde (Lesley Goldie/Allison Bell) in the other upstairs window. Eventually, they get the hose ready, but the only thing that gets sprayed is the female member (Sue Bond)/Sue Upton) of the team.

Eventually, another woman appears in her undies (Jo Thomas) from another window, and the tarp is pulled out to catch her jumping to safety. The tarp comes equipped with the old firefighter (Jackie Wright) hiding in it to further pad her fall. When the brigade takes a moment to pose for a photo for the newspaper by a photographer (Ken Sedd), the young lady falls straight to the pavement. She's carried away on the stretcher and joined by the old man.

The fire is eventually traced to a burning pot on the stove by another tenant (Connie Georges/Lee Gibson, and the brigade relaxes with cigarettes lit on a single match, which gets promptly tossed into the structure.

Summary by User:Thor2000



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  • This sketch was performed twice. The December 23, 1970 version featured Benny Hill, Jackie Wright, Nicholas Parsons, Tommy Mann and Sue Bond with Walter Goodman, Jan Butlin and Verne Morgan in extra roles. The February 11, 1981 featured Benny Hill, Jackie Wright, Henry McGee, Bob Todd and Sue Upton with Lee Gibson, Louise English, Alison Bell, Ken Sedd and Alison Thomas in other roles.
  • The 1981 version includes scenes not included in the 1970 version, such as Jackie Wright getting left behind, the apple tree, the stop at the Black Lion Pub, the hitch-hikers and the second tenant (Jo Thomas) who crashes to the ground and wrestles with Jackie.
  • The exterior locations to either of the sketches have yet to be identified.
  • This sketch was featured in the "Video Sideshow" VHS from HBO.