Fire Service

20 March 2021 ·

Merryweather 1913
Merryweather 1913

In the later part of the 1800’s, the police were responsible for fire fighting.

Shand Mason of London, supplied three sets of fire extinguishing and escape appliances in 1890. They included thirty feet ladders at a cost of £150, and they were to be stored in newly built sheds near the police stations. The fire extinguishing and escape appliances were horse drawn, with water being pumped manually. They required fit and strong men to be able to use them.

Early fire fighting equipment

In 1901, the fire station at Court Road opened. It was a three storey high building with an engine room, apartments for the men and officers and also a watch room, stables and a hose drying tower. There was also a Shand Mason vertical steam fire engine. This was able to pump three hundred and fifty gallons of water a minute up to a height of a hundred and sixty one feet. However, this still needed horses to transport it. The building at Court Road also had a mortuary and a post mortem room.

https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3791893/3791897/50/fire%20station

By February 1913V the Urban District Council was taking applications for a Voluntary Fire Brigade and this brought police involvement in firefighting to an end.

The Merryweather Hatfield Motor Fire Engine  was bought in May 1913, and horses were no longer needed. One story states that not long after the vehicle arrived, it was on its way to deal with a fire. The driver turned into Dock View Road and the vehicle “ran wild probably through skidding”. Sergeant Rees and the others all jumped off as they feared a collision.

The driver was D Matthews and he managed to keep control but Vice- captain Guest was thrown out violently and badly injured.

It transpired that the fire they were attending was a very small fire!

This beautiful Edwardian building left empty for a number of years and the condition if the building really deteriorated. It has since been developed into apartments and a coach house.

The new fire station was built on Port Road in 1978 and continues to house the fire service and also the ambulance service now!

Further Reading

https://newspapers.library.wales/view/4617659/4617664/33/

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