Vintage Fire Engine finds Old Home

Eighty years after the last fire engine left the Old Fire Station in Alresford the building will once again house a fire appliance.  One of the old Merryweather Steamer Pump appliances built in the early 1900s and similar to that operating in Alresford in the early part of the twentieth century, will be moving into the Old Fire Station on Saturday 18th August 2018.

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The arrival on the 18th, on a modern towed trailer!

The fire engine will not have travelled far over the last hundred years as it was originally used on the Tichborne Park Estate and for many years it has been housed at the fire station on Pound Hill.  It will be transferred to the newly refurbished Broad Street Fire Station – which was built in 1881 and housed the town’s fire brigade and their equipment up until 1938 when the new fire station on Pound Hill was completed.

The Old Fire Station is owned by the New Alresford Town Trust which has refurbished the original part of the building that formed the fire station to house the newly created Alresford Museum.

“The original idea was to create exhibition and display space for local historical artefacts in the Old Fire Station, but when the possibility of actually housing a local, vintage fire engine became a reality our plans changed,” said Roy Gentry, Chair of the Alresford and District Museum Trust. “Our focus now will be on preparing suitable displays to complement the fire engine and open the Museum to the public.  We are grateful to the Hampshire Fire Service, Alan House and the Hampshire Police and Fire Heritage Trust for their help in making this project a reality.”

The fire engine came into the possession of the Hankin family business in the 1960s, and was housed in the fire station on Pound Hill during the times when Alex Hankin was the Chief Fire Officer for Alresford. The Hankin family spent many thousands of pounds having the appliance restored in the early 1990s. John Hankin is delighted the fire engine will be staying in Alresford, and housed in the Old Fire Station.

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The Merryweather fire appliance in the original Tichborne Park livery outside the Pound Hill Fire Station (courtesy of AlresfordHeritage.co.uk)

“There will be a handover of the fire engine at the Pound Hill Fire Station at 2.30pm on 18th August and all past and present fire fighters and local residents are welcome to attend and escort it to its new home,” said Roy Gentry.

In order to successfully display the fire engine and associated artefacts, the Museum Trust needs more volunteers to assist with this project. Help is needed to prepare displays, undertake historical research and produce display material as well stewards to man the museum when it is open to the public. Anybody who thinks they would like to be involved should contact Roy Gentry on 01962 773185 or roy.gentry@alresford.org.

Note: The Town Trust took over the responsibility for the original Alresford Museum charity when it ceased to operate in 2010.

 

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