The Fire Brigades first pump was manually operated and had to be manhandled to incidents. After a year or so the pump was adapted to enable it to be pulled by horses which added to the speed and range at which the Brigade could operate. A team of horses were supposed to be kept ready at all times, but often the Swan Bus was stopped in mid-journey and the horses borrowed by the Brigade. Mr Robert Clarke of the Swan Tap rode one of the horses, he was the son of a famous coachman who drove the Umpire from Newport to Whetstone in Hertfordshire. Another of the Brigade riders was Mr James Ives he became landlord of a local pub the Wrestlers and was the last man to ride post with the Fire Brigade team

The original call-out system for the firemen was by knockers-up these were usually youths who had the ambition to became firemen and had to undertake this form of apprenticeship to prove themselves suitable

Returning from Cranfield
June 28th 1893