History: Looking back at how we used to fight fires
TAMESIDE history club’s next talk will be about the history of Manchester Fire Service with Bob Bonner.
The talk starts with the story of organised firefighting and fire prevention in Britain, from the days of the Norman occupation, through the Great Fire of London, the Victorian and Edwardian “golden ages” and two world wars.
Urban firefighting was once in the hands of private enterprise, competing for “business,” before municipalisation took over.
Even then, the quality of service was hit and miss with professional brigades, Police-Fire brigades and volunteer brigades all playing their part.
The talk continues with the devastation of the “Blitz” and its effect on Britain’s fire service organisation, paving the way for the modern emergency service we are familiar with today.
The journey has been a ● gradual process of improvements in equipment, techniques, legislative measures and the lessons learned by a catalogue of major disasters and significant events.
Local influences across the years, such as fires in the Lancashire textile industry, the risks associated with the conurbation’s role as a major transport hub and acts of war and terrorism have meant that Greater Manchester’s firefighters are among the most experienced and professional.
The talk covers the national story with plenty of references to the local one.
Bob spent a long career as a firefighter in Greater Manchester, beginning in the Manchester City Fire Brigade at the famous London Road fire station and reached the rank of Divisional Officer before retiring in 2006.
The talk will take place on Wednesday, April 11, at 2pm at Tameside Local Studies and Archive Centre, Old Street, Ashton.
To book your free place please telephone 0161 342 4242 or email archives@ tameside.gov.uk.
Six-cylinder 700-10000 gallon Leyland motor fire pump as supplied to the Ashtonunder-Lyne brigade