Mr Bishop, the station officer in charge of Green Watch on the night of the IRA bombing, was invalided out of the fire service six years later. Attacks of vertigo forced him to leave the fire service after 29 years. 'I completely lost my sense of balance,' he said.
Loss of his job caused deep depression. 'I had gone from being a leader of men, always out in front, fighting fires, to someone who could only sit in front of the TV and cry,' he said. Rescue finally came in the shape of retraining on a nine-month course run by the Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People, which has launched him into a new career as a domestic appliance engineer.
Lord Tebbit said they had only recently become aware of Mr Bishop's troubles. 'We had seen each other since the bombing, but suddenly he stopped sending Christmas cards back to us . . . We're delighted he's back on the road,' Lord Tebbit said before launching the charity's pounds 5m diamond jubilee appeal.
Mr Bishop, 51, said the day's biggest delight was hearing Lady Tebbit, whom he removed completely paralysed from the Brighton hotel, telling him that while still heavily dependent on a wheelchair, she now went riding. 'That's more important than anything,' he said, as he collected his certificate of qualification and declared himself open for business.
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