Home Sawbridgeworth Fire Brigade 1897 - to the early 1970's and beyond.
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 Page last updated: 23/04/2017             Please sign the Guest Book
Mar - 2006 Guestbook
Latest Page Updates Updated
Two new photos added - 1870's The Gate PH licensee and Christy's Butchers shop in Bell Street 22/04/2017
Photos of a display retained at the Fire Station of the National Fire Service (N.F.S.) era used at Sawbridgeworth  are on the Fire Station Archive -
page 2 - bottom right.
A new page of history records the Protective Helmets issued and used at Sawbridgeworth to the present day - accessible via the Fire Station Archive page. 01/02/2017
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Sawbridgeworth is a small town in the east of the County of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom and has supported a Fire Brigade since the latter part of the 19th Century. Almost all towns and many villages had fire fighting arrangements of some sort, but it was not until the end of the 19th century that small teams of men were organised and began to be supported by both local dignitaries and industry and later, by the Local Authorities such as Cities, Boroughs and Urban/District Councils.

The history of Sawbridgeworth is well documented with its origins going back a long way. By the end of the 19th century the population had grown to around 2,000 with the 1901 census indicating 2,460. Undoubtedly the changes brought about by the growth of communications like the Railway and River Stort, together with the substantial timber, malting and milling businesses had been influential by this time. With industry expanding, the potential for losses through fire was also growing, something that the insurance providers of the day had come to recognise. It seems reasonable to suppose that to have a Fire Brigade became fashionable in that the wealthy land owners and business people of the areas around would feel that their particular 'province' was not complete without one. Sometime earlier, the availability of 6 - 8 men manual pumping equipment had been developed and progress beyond this was being made, making the bucket chain, the main standby for estate houses and the like, somewhat redundant.

This web site sets out to provide some of the background of the Brigade and is based on pictures and information that is available to the writer through records of his Father with some reflections based on serving in the Brigade for 6 years himself. Other information has also been provided by another one-time member of the Brigade. If anyone has more information, particularly in picture form or has originals or better copies of photographs or documents, than are displayed on this site then the Webmaster would be very pleased to hear about it. Similarly, if anyone wishes to provide information on the later years of the brigade then please consider it. Due acknowledgment can be given to this information or anonymity will be preserved if this is preferred. Any original documentation, photographs or pictures will be returned if required. All reasonable care will taken with them but no liability whatsoever can be accepted for loss or damage.

  Note 1: Photographs marked (#) are not from originals. The Webmaster would be very pleased to borrow the original to improve the quality of presentation.
  Sawbridgeworth and the position of the present Active Fire Station  
  Push the map up a little to see the Fire Station built 1905 shown as   Nr. St. Mary's Church - then use "View larger map" to go to Street View  
  Please contact the Webmaster by Email    

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