THE wives of Accrington's striking firefighters have been presented with a blooming marvellous gift by a local business.
Janet and Nigel O'Rourke, of Open All Flowers in Clayton-le-Moors, made up a dozen special bouquets to show their support to the town's fire crews.
The couple, who have run the florist's on Whalley Road for 11 years, were so incensed by Government plans to rush emergency legislation through Parliament that they decided to make a grand gesture of support.
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott this week announced plans to reactivate powers in the Fire Services Act of 1947, allowing the Government to specify pay, terms and conditions.
Janet and Nigel made up 12 bouquets of roses and took them to the picket line in Accrington on Wednesday, asking the firefighters to pass them onto their other halves.
Janet said: "It's totally outrageous what Prescott has been saying and we just wanted to support the strikers. I know what they have been through in the last few months but this has just put the tin hat on it.
"We were listening to a debate on the radio and that just started us off. The flowers went down really well. The lads were really chuffed with them. There were plenty of drivers tooting their horns as they went past and the firefighters are keeping their spirits up."
Firefighters took part in their latest 48-hour strike on Tuesday and Wednesday and a further two-day walkout is planned for tomorrow and Sunday.
The Fire Brigades Union is blaming pre-conditions on any pay incr-ease over four per cent as the reason for the action.