Fire Engines, Newcatle-under-Lyme

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Date:1970

Description:The Museum's old Newsham Fire engine with a 'modern' 1970 engine alongside probably photographed on the Borough Museum car park.

This Newsham manual pump fire engine was first acquired for the town in 1734.
It would have been pulled to the location of a fire and 2 men would have pumped water using the 2 handles.
Because it was pulled by man power alone the use of the fire engine was pretty limited!

Before the use of this fire engine the capability to put out fire was even more primitive.
In 1623 every ‘Capital Burgess’ was required to equip himself with a leather bucket, this was because of the risk of fire from all the thatched roofs in the town.
In 1666 three fire lookers were appointed and in 1689 a 40s fine was levied on citizens who failed to keep good chimneys – the cause of many fires.

In 1888 a volunteer brigade was formed. They used the old militia barracks on Barracks Road by which time the Corporation had acquired a horse drawn fire engine to tackle fires and this seemed to limit the spread of fires in the Borough.


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Donor ref:PA 1458 (22/26513)

Source: Brampton Museum and Art Gallery, Newcastle under Lyme

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