Alresford Fire Brigade in the 1930s.
The fire station was at the bottom of Broad Street
and at the side of the big red doors was a glass panel let into the wall
and behind this was housed the key to the doors. Any member of the
public who happened to be passing when the maroons went off was expected
to break the glass, remove the key and open the doors in readiness for
the fire crew.
My Grandad, whose bakery was just across the
street, made this his unofficial duty, and he would run across the
street, often with hands covered in flour or dough, and open up the
It was quite a blaze but fortunately it was
brought under control before spreading to the main body of the church,
but not before it had destroyed all our choirboy gowns, surplices and
numerous hymn and prayer books. So that evening at Evensong we had to
sing in the choir in our Sunday suits and with the smell of burnt timber
in our nostrils.
It was suggested, but never proved that someone
was smoking a crafty fag and had discarded the end without putting it
out, but I guess that is another story.!
The fire station in Broad Street served the town
from the 1800s till 1940, when a new modern building was built at the
bottom of Pound Hill.
The old station still stands in all it's red painted glory as a listed building and is a 'must' to the many visitors who visit this beautiful little Hampshire town of Alresford.