Burslem Fire Brigade


Description:This is an extract from a feature film made in Burslem in the Potteries in the summer of 1918, and shown in September. It shows the turn-out of the Burslem Fire Brigade – a typical action scene in early dramas from the turn of the century. Here a pottery girl and her mother are trapped in a blazing building in Stubbs Street in Middleport – just down the road – and the fire engines are turning out. Local people will recognise these streets – and Scotia Road in the background. And these horses were show horses – we have photographs of these horses decorated for showing in agricultural shows. This is not a second fire engine, it’s the same fire engine we’ve just seen – they only had one motorised engine and it was brand new so they filmed it twice to make it look as if they had two. This is the centre of Burslem, with the old Meat Market – what Arnold Bennett called “The Shambles” in the centre background, with the Red Lion public house just beyond that. The ladies are waiting for the fire engines, and these are terrific views of the centre of Burslem as the fire engines steam to the rescue. There are tramlines down the centre of the road and people watching this great activity. Burslem Town Hall is just to our left outside this picture.

This film also features in the documentary; “Stoke-on-Film, 1910-1930”, produced by Ray Johnson.

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Donor ref:Archive film reference: 02 (26/6041)

Source: Staffordshire Film Archive

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