"The town of Epsom has no fire brigade but one engine with 5" pumps for use with 20 men, one hose reel and 300ft of leather hose. [A hose reel was as its name implies, a moving drum reel to which the hose was wound on, the whole mounted on a pair of carriage wheels either hand or horse drawn]. The water supply is obtained from the mains with a head of 200ft [about 100lbs per square inch of pressure] from the town reservoir and by means of hydrants which are placed at distances of 80yards apart. The fires are extinguished in the town by means of hose and standpipes whilst the engine goes out to country fires. The fires are not very frequent there having been only three since 1863"
"The alarm was immediately given and the parish engine was promptly on the spot and Sergeant Wagstaff with a body of policemen arrived there simultaneously with the engine and kept order amongst many rough characters, who immediately flocked to the spot, many of whom at this time were acting as "collectors of unconsidered trifles".The fire happened at Kingston Lane, Epsom.
"Part of the hose and one engine will be kept at the Clock Tower in the High Street, with a complete set of standpipes, water keys and appliances will be kept at both places. The officers appointed were Superintendent Busbridge, James Furnise [foreman], subalterns William Rose, G White, R Hayton, W Blackshall, C Sandon, J Gray, Charles Venner and W Collins. Keys of the waterworks and Clock Tower will be kept at the Engine House. A hammer will be attached to the bell in the Clock House to give an alarm when necessary and the remainder of the hose will be kept at the engine house in East Street."
"They did not recognise any responsibility to incur any further expense in obtaining appliances for the protection of buildings already equipped to cope with fire and in the construction of which they had no control, but that the Brigade would willingly render every assistance in the event of fire." (Note: The Epsom Hospital Cluster had it's own fire brigade)
"Just after staff went home on the eve of 26th June 1938 a timber factory belonging to Woodgoods Ltd of Kingston Road, Ewell caught fire. It is believed that the fire was started by an explosion in the stores.
Every available man and appliance was used by Epsom Fire Brigade and volunteers including members of the Council helped the firemen in attempts to save the adjoining houses and offices.
The three storey factory was badly damaged and the fire spread to stocks of timber. When the roof fell in flames shot up to a great height and some of the burning debris was carried into the road where a big crowd had assembled.
For generations this factory was one of the flour mills of Ewell and was known as the Lower Mill. The Hogsmill River runs through the grounds and from this the Fire Brigade obtained plenty of water"
Bourne Hall Museum:
Epsom Fire Brigade:
Surrey Fire Brigade Preservation Museum:
Recollections of a Fireman by Tom Pratt:
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