This photograph was taken by Arthur Mills in the 1960s when the 1899 fire engine was finally removed from the Town Hall where it had been stored for over 60 years.
Notice the two double doorways in the Town Hall.
The final exit!
Quite an historic occasion for those who saw the departure.
(Our special thanks go to John Mills for allowing us to use these photographs)
The first time that the new Market Deeping fire engine was called out to an actual fire had been on Friday 11th May 1900 when it responded to a fire in a barley stack in Maxey. The fire was put out in six hours.
Fortunately the drill the night before came in very handy.
The fire engine had been called out to a number of fires before this, including one in Langtoft Fen in September 1899….. but the fire was out before it got there and a messenger was sent to turn the engine back!
It seems that for many years in the late 1800s there was no efficient, working fire engine to respond to fires. In 1874 the previous engine was “old and rusted” and “enveloped in cobwebs and dust” (Stamford Mercury 2nd October 1874) and by 1884 it was still in neglect.
Fortunately the Deeping St James engine was efficient when it was called upon.
It finally broke down completely in 1898 and in the following January Market Deeping Parish Council ordered a new manual engine for £95 – the old engine was put up for sale.
By 28th July 1899 the Market Deeping Fire Brigade had its first drill under its Captain, Mr E. Neal and its Lieutenant, Mr R Harrison. The crew included T. Andrew, T. Emery, J. Gilbert, W.D. Hare, W.French, J. Hempsill, W. Greenfield, J. Redhead, J. Sammonds, C. Saddington, M. Tales and W. Milbourn.
Mr Neal provided the horse to pull it and the “callers up” were sent round on their bicycles to every fireman’s house. Later on, one young “caller up” was Eric Bowman from the Market Place and one young fireman was Tom Plowright who went on to serve in the First World War and to be awarded the Military Medal.
This photograph seems to show the same fire engine.
Does it still exist? Did it go to a museum?