|A Part-time firefighter stationed at Fenny Stratford from 1932-1958 talks about his memories.....
I was a member of the Fire Brigade from 1932-1958. We were all part-time firemen and had to be called from home when there was an alarm. In spite of this, the turn-out was always remarkably quick and we were away within a very few minutes.
We were paid a retainer of two guineas a year and two shillings a call, but of course we lost our pay if we were called from work.
When I joined the brigade, they had just been equipped with a Merryweather steam pump which was towed by a motor vehicle. Up to that time, the appliance was horse drawn. In fact, the horses normally pulled the dust cart and when there was a fire call the driver, Bert Nix, who drove both vehicles, had to return to the fire station in Church Street, change over the horses and then away to the fire.
Eventually the question arose of whether the brigade should mechanise by having a motor lorry to pull the engine. Old Bert strongly objected. He argued that while motor lorries might be quicker on made up roads they would bog down along all the local lanes and tracks. The mechanisers won the argument, but it was recognised that old Bert had a point! A good proportion of costly fires in those times occurred on farms, which were not easily accessible to motor vehicles of the era, as Bletchley was still predominantly a rural area.
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