South Road residents in 1946

This is Part 2 of a residents list in Alresford houses and dwellings, as recorded in 1946 by Clinton Sherriff, a member of the Alresford Chamber of Commerce at the time. It was probably to enable him to canvas for donations towards a town building project, which was the Outdoor Swimming pool in the War Memorial Garden.

The attached map uses his numbering system for the houses in the streets, which does not correspond to the modern numbering system. Plus obviously there are gaps where the houses and even some streets – such as South Close and Meryon Road – that we see today, had not been constructed.

Scan south road

The original of the survey is in the Hampshire Record Office, but a copy exists in the Alresford Museum (D1037). If you want to see his map of a particular street, I will email it to you, as this also gives a clue as to the development state at the time.

People’s names living in South Road in 1946 are listed below, with the house names as quoted at the time, against Clinton’s numbering system.

20/1    Bend of McKay(?)  Mrs Peters

20/2    BuenaVista             W Blakemar

20/3    Taplins                    J A Monck

20/4    Sunspan                 EA Cozens

20/5    The Cottage            GH Preston

20/6    Ciarasia                  Miss Beasley, Miss Price, Mr Monday

20/7    (No name)              (not known)

20/8    Wingreen                J Hall

20/9    The Firs                  HF Rose

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Resident list -1946: Streets A to G

This is planned to be Part 1 of a residents list in Alresford houses and dwellings, as recorded in 1946 by Clinton Sherriff, a member of the Alresford Chamber of Commerce at the time. It was probably to enable him to canvas for donations towards a town building project, which was the Outdoor Swimming pool in the War Memorial Garden.

This survey is sorted by road name, and Part 1, shown in the attached, covers the roads starting with the letters A through to G at the time. This means Ashburton Place, as it was known then, thru to Grange Road. The attached uses his numbering system for the houses in the streets, which does not correspond to the modern numbering system. Plus obviously there are gaps where the houses and even some streets we see today had not been constructed.

The original of the survey is in the Hampshire Record Office, but a copy exists in the Alresford Museum. If you want to see his map of a particular street, I will email it to you, as this also gives a clue as to the development state at the time.

Scan3

Scan2

The maps here show examples of how Sherriff drew out the roads at the time, and numbered the houses – all by hand.  Above is Ashburton Place – there is no Ashburton Road as yet. Opposite is Grange Road, with large gaps between the houses. The maps are not necessarily to scale.

 

LIST OF RESIDENTS IN 1946
Number       Street + House name (if exists) Resident names
      Ashburton Place
1 Campbell/ Southwood
2 Strong
3 Lister
4 Benham Chamberlain
5-16 listed as Grange Road
17 Keel F / Nicholson
18 Crockford D
19 Hurst
20 Coombs
21
22
23
24 Pay
25 Watts
1′
2′
Brandy Mount
1 Astridge
2 Sherwood
3
4 Roadnight
5 Ray
6
7 Hunt
8 Hammond
9
10 Kent
11 Cook Mrs E
12
Bridge Road
1 Opp Nicholson Place Merritt
2 Kitcher
3 Underwood
4 Merritt Mrs
5 Newell T
6 Hall
7 Duffin
8 Gross / Stent
9 Joyce
10 Peckham WH
11 Barker C /Wilcocks /Williams
12 Page
13 Vatener
14 Corner Grange Rd Monday
Broad Street
Broad St West side
1 ….
2 Army Love AF
3 Livingstone & Sons Livingstone & Sons
4 Major FJ
5 Mismere? Hazelgrove /Wigmore G
6 Barker EO
7 Armsworth Dairy
8 Harris Mrs
9 Barns Bros
10 Chapman Miss
11 Nelson Barr Miss/Nelson HV
12 Baker Miss
13 The Lawn Tape
14 Inge P/Gregory Mrs
15 small Neville Mrs HJ
16 Andrews M
17 Leishman HR/Winchester
18 Warburton
19 Cranley Hall Miss/ Strong & Sons
19′ small
20 Oaklands Palmer WH
21 Batchelor FC
22 Rosemary Cottage Shield GER / Winter Mrs D
22′ Deeside Hunt
22” Riverside Radford Miss M
Broad St East side
numbered from bottom up
23 Old Fire Sta ARP HQ
24 Chown R
25 Army
26 Westover Meryon CE
27 The Forge Love
28 Forge Cottages Booth
29 Hooper
30 Dorking House Oakley E
31 Honeybourne Stores Jones Mrs
32 Broadway Garage Osborne Mrs
33 Chaffy (deleted) Chaffy (deleted)
34 Smee A
35 Eddolls Eddolls RE
36 George Flats Boyd
37 George Flats Hackney LC
38 George Flats Sherriff FC
39 George Flats Boyle JE/ Way CE
39” Smith +Crockford
40 Biggs G
41 Curtis Mrs
42 Harris DA/Holmes
43 Isham T & Son Isham CF
44 Woodward GH
45 Horse& Groom Gray HJ
46 Lawrences
Cheriton Road
Cheriton Road (East side) now Jacklyn’s Lane
from Salisbury Rd to Cricketers
1 Sarnia Ing / Neville
2 Oaks Lister Miss
3 Chesterholm Lowe
4 Hillside Dawkes / Seacombe WE
5 Ingleby Hastie Dave, and his wife (Scottish)

who had a milk delivery business.

6 Ivanhoe Brown EC
7 Raffier Withers AE
8 Glendore Davies / Wright F
9 Rosemary Martin CA
10 West View Dymond H
11 Orchard Dene Fairburn H. Opposite Oban.

Demolished 1970s and then

re-built by Mr Fairburn,

–  who had an eye-patch. In the 60s

it was bought by the Winter-Taylors

Demolished in the 70s, to make

way for more houses.

12 Cricketers Arms Boniface (Mrs Charlotte), widow

of the AGC golf professional Bill

Boniface. Later married George

Banks, and ran the pub till

the mid 1980s: even your editor

remembers the corner entrance

as opening into the “Off-sales”

little cubicle, rather like a

confessional.

Cheriton Road (West side) now Jacklyn’s Lane
Space
13 Birnbeck Hartland PG: Mr Hartland was a partner in

Hartland and Orton, a local building firm.

This house is semi-detached with Oban.

14 Oban House Livingstone D: Mr Livingstone built

the house in 1933. Oban was bought

by Bob and Brenda Hedges in 1955.

15 Kemble Cove
16 Cornerways Hasted A, probably Alec, the local butcher.
17 Haggarty/Clement
18 …. Jeffery E
19 Clovelly Hunt LJ
Space
20 Ty-Gwyn Margate / White WE
21 Montello Loveridge M
Rosebery Rd
Space
22 The Hill Pemberton JP
Salisbury Road
Churchyard Cottages
1 Newman CDE /Wright
2 Trimmer F
3 Holliday
4 Marks
5 Henning JW/Lewer
6 Benham
7 Gilding J
8 Hockley
9 Butcher
The Dean West side
1 Methodist Hall
2
3
4
5
Space
6
7
8 Piper G
9
10 White Mrs A
11
12 Alresford Gas Co Platt O
Space
13 Hut
Space
14
15
16 Smith
The Dean East side
17 Faccombe Cottage Curtis W
18 Fairlight Villas 5
19 Fairlight Villas 4
20 Fairlight Villas 3
21 Fairlight Villas 2 Smith KB
22 Fairlight Villas 1 Vickers AW
23 Western Villa Dorey J
24 Alms Cottage Childs HJ
25 Stanley Cotts 7
26 Stanley Cotts  6
27 Stanley Cotts 5
28 Stanley Cotts 4
29 Stanley Cotts 3
30 Stanley Cotts 2 Joyce
31 Stanley Cotts 1
47′ (Cottages behind)
48′ (Cottages behind)
49′ (Cottages behind) Sinclair
50′ (Cottages behind)
51′ (Cottages behind)
52′ (Cottages behind)
32 Bugg AJ
33
34 Tremee L
35 Dean Arms Springer AE
36 Dean School Jesty E
37
38
39
40
45′
46′
41
42
43 PortLaurel Shaw
Space
44 Army
East street
East Street North side
1 Lawrence Lawrence M
2 Phair Phair HJ
3 Alresford Water Co Shield +Son
4 Natl Prov Bank Banks WE/ Wigmore G
5 The Blue Café Mike Hedges remembers this as

“The Blue Venture Cafe”, operating till

the 1970s. Other reports about the

cafe have been more colourful….

6 Peaceful Home Lowe H / Sutherland. Famous for

the sign outside advertising

“Urs beer”. The inquisitive traveller

should never have asked the

landlord “Whats Urs?”

7 Sunnyside Boyce / Newell
8 Eastridge Hillary WH
9 World Stores Blake E
10 Corren
11 Smith Mrs E/ Osborne H
12 Rose Cottage
13 Updale 2 Leaman
14 Updale Lane SC
15 Cardew McNalty / Rippingale AE
East Street South side
15′ Langtons
16 Sun Inn Black GC
17 Deacombe Crockford A
18 The Manse
19 St John’s Robinson
20
21
22
23
24 Andrews AH
25 Moore
26 Langridge
Brandy Mount opening
27 Eastholme Blake AE
28 Easeway Bye Mrs A / Richards AK
29 Lane FN
30 Hunt Miss
31 Childs CH
32 Sparrow YW
33 White W
34 Torbett
35 Deacon Deacon HH
36 London Central Meat Co Trickey A
37 Epps Epps Mrs HE
38 Hillbro Eddolls CB
39 The Lindens Hodgson H
40 Peploe Miss
41 Min of Labour Wigmore P
42 Simmonds Simmonds/Edwards
Grange Road South side
1 Windyridge Bascomb FA
Space + Salisbury Rd
2 Holmlea Hallett
3 Redlands
4 Wynhill Fisher / Nicholas
Space 
5 White W
6 Cox
7 Dawes RG
8
9 Marks / Page / White
10 Brown/Hillary
11 McMahon Mrs/ Mason
12 Hillier / Richardson Mrs
13 Biggs
14 Hibberd
15 Andrews AA/Digweed/
/Merritt/Warwick
16 Andrews AA/Etherington/
/Smith R/Smith Mrs E
Grange Road North side
16′ South View Hazelgrove
17 Dalkeith – P.O. Morley Mrs
18 St Ronans Curtis H
19 Elgin Villa Livingstone A
20 Claranest Graham/Meadows WC
21 The Nook Benham Mrs K / Young A/
22 Harley Cottage /Consterdine/ Strong / Tait
23 Silvermere Edwards AD
24 Braemar McCutcheon J
25 Glenroy White T
Space
26 Highclere Chivers NC
27 Treetops Allan / Savage CH
Space
28 Royston
29 Wearville Hearring WJ
30 ..
31 Dorlie
32 The Ridge Ing G
33 Hazeldene Hacney Mrs/Lindley Miss
34 Hillcrest Picken A
Space
35 Sunnycroft Karn AB / Walker
36 Hillcat Crew T

Where there are gaps, no information was recorded.

The tabulation has gone wrong on one entry, that for 21 and 22 Grange Road. “Harley Cottage” has no known residents, the three quoted (Consterdine, Strong and Tait) were resident in “The Nook”

Wartime Memorabilia – an ashtray!

The Old Fire Station in Broad Street has various examples of the equipment used in Alresford over the last 100 years, and some examples of the results of their fire-fighting work. One exhibit looks like a rather heavy metal ashtray – but it is slightly more interesting than that!

Back in the Battle of Britain in WW2, to be exact on 15 August 1940, Flight Lieutenant C R Davis of 601 Squadron intercepted a Junkers Ju88A of the Luftwaffe trying to attack Worthy Down. As a result of his attacks the JU88A crashed and exploded by Ashen Wood, near The Jumps, at West Tisted, at 6.05pm in the evening. The aircraft was totally destroyed in the fire that followed the crash, and the crew were all reported as missing, believed killed: they were FF Fw Herbert Pauck, BO Uffz Kurt Glitzner, BF Fw Dieter Rogge and BS Uffz Erich Woldt.

1386_rd

A Revell model of the Ju88A

Excavation in 1972

Some years later, in November 1972, the Southern Area Wartime Aircraft Preservation Society examined the crash site to collect any remaining identifiable bits. In fact they removed the remains of both engines, the propeller blades, and the undercarriage, plus a gravity knife and scraps of uniform. Plus an unexploded bomb!

Hampshire Fire Service received a request to attend the UXB with a water tender, during the operation by the Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) to make the bomb safe, and dispose of the contents. Alresford were asked to undertake this duty, and despatched a water tender and crew, with Mick Atterton in charge. After the successful operation the Officer in charge of the BDU gave Mick Atterton the large screwed cover from the bomb fuse container, as a memento.

For many years Mick used the cover as an ashtray, but now he has put it on display in the Old Fire Station, as an unusual example of the Alresford fire service activities!

The History of the Alresford Community Centre

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A drawing by A E Wade dated 1958. Reproduced from the Alresford Museum archives with permission.

The building now normally referred to as the Alresford Community Centre has a long history in the town: working backwards, it has been previously known as the Alresford Town Hall, the Alresford Market House, and the “Rose and Crown” Inn. In fact the ‘Rose and Crown’ days were in the period just before 1865, when the present building was constructed. The earliest reference found to a dwelling on this site is in 1685, when on 27th November, Abigail Bath, the owner, sold the property to Thomas and Joane Standen, on a 500 year lease of one peppercorn per annum. [In those days spices were more valuable than ordinary money, and becoming more popular (and therefore expensive) by the year]

26th July 1865

The ‘Rose and Crown’ at this time was owned by Edward Hunt, a well-known name in Alresford, who owned the brewery in West Street. In July he sold the deeds to the ‘Alresford Market House Company’ for £550. The property at this time comprised two parts. The main part, on the West side, later to become the Community Centre, (now 7 West Street) was occupied by a Joseph Anderson (possibly the ex-landlord). The ‘messuage’ on the east side (now 5 West Street) was occupied by William Spary. This messuage on the east is the small dwelling that later became the Portman Building Society offices, and is now occupied by the Nationwide Bank.

It is assumed here that it was the Alresford Market House Company that built the imposing new building, with the large front room, presumably for the market, and a meeting room upstairs. This is also suggested by the coat of arms at the top of the front fascia, which has the Alresford crest with the letters AMHCL written above the shield, and the date of 1865 below. AMHCL = Alresford Market House Company Ltd.

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The Market House in 1906. Photo published from www.Alresfordheritage.co.uk with permission

29th August 1924

In 1924, the main building had become known as the “Town Hall”: earlier tenants had been a John Simms, and a Thomas Burly – most recently it was a Stephen Hoffe. But on 29th August the Market House Company went into voluntary liquidation – after 59 years of operating the building. Arthur Whale, an accountant, was the liquidator, and the property was sold to Miss Mary Matilda Baker, of Mitford House, Broad Street, for the sum of £800. Alresford Memories readers will have read about Kingsley Baker in another story on this website, and how after WW1 the Baker family financed the building of houses for returning soldiers, in New Farm Road. Presumably Miss Baker was part of this family.

The deal with the accountant included the house at 5 West Street, then occupied by William James Adams. It also included a weighbridge outside in West Street. The accountant also tidied up the peppercorn lease, enlarging it into a “fee simple” – presumably buying out the freehold and ending the lease.

Miss Baker’s tenants 1924-1942

There were many tenants in this period! The Meryon Hall (downstairs – note the reference to Dr Meryon’s name) was let to Hazelgrove and Son as a butchers shop for £44-4-0 a year.

d-019_med

The Hazelgrove shop in the downstairs room (The Meryon Hall) in the 1920s.  Photo by permission from Alresfordheritage.co.uk

H Royle had the use of the large room on Sundays for £5 pa, and the small room for one hour on Thursdays for 2s 6d a week. But the Foresters and the Oddfellows each took the small room on alternate Tuesdays for £4-4-0 pa each. (Nowadays Tuesdays are taken up with the Giles Group coffee morning – they have obviously taken the place of either the Foresters or the Oddfellows!)

The Medical Officer of Health (Dr Cronk) had the use of the main room and two small rooms for one day a week, for the Child Welfare clinic (10 shillings) and the Ante-Natal clinic (7s 6d).

In the 1930s, the upper room was used as a Magistrates Court for the Petty Sessional Division of Alresford. In 1935, Miss Baker upgraded their facilities by creating a retiring room for the Magistrates (cost to her was £62-5-0) and the rent for the two rooms was increased from the previous £25 pa to £29-10-0 pa. This was in a five year lease starting 29 August 1935.

15th September 1942

Miss Baker now sold the two properties to Henry Joseph Phair Esq, the stationer, who later occupied the corner shop and newsagents at the top of Broad Street on the East side. The sum involved was £1100. The sale agreement included the house at #5, then occupied by Mr Jupe, but did not mention the weighbridge. It also stipulated that no intoxicating liquor should be sold from the premises.

In 1946 Mr Phair updated the lease of the upper room and the retiring room for the use of the County Council as a Magistrates Court, at £60 a year, and in January 1953 the lower hall was let for £10 a year for sittings of the Juvenile Court, with an added fee of £3 for the rent and use of an electric fire.

1st February 1958

Mr Phair now sold the Town Hall to a Trust, formed by the Alresford Chamber of Commerce, which included local business men and gentry. They paid the £2000 cost via a mortgage granted by Mr Phair, at 6% interest. The nominated Trustees were Charles Evelyn Meryon (Doctor), Hugh Robertson Leishman (Doctor), Geoffrey Brian Gush (Company Director), and Henry Cleeve Mills (Farmer).

5th October 1964

After 7 years, the Trustees were directed by a Chamber of Commerce resolution to “Hold the Trust Property for and on behalf of the Alresford and District Community Association”. The Trust deed giving the constitution of the ADCA is written around this resolution, and gives the Council of the Association “Management and Control of the Trust property, but not ownership”. The ADCA has continued this responsibility to the present day.

Events in the 1970s

Between 1970 and 75 the original Trustees either died or resigned, and new Trustees were appointed, like Major Covill, Mr R E Witchard, John Arlott and Gordon Scrase. On 29th March 1977 the cottage at 5 West Street was sold to Morris Dibben, for £9500.

The ADCA in 2018

The ADCA is a Registered Charity, and continues to manage the Community Centre on behalf of the townspeople of Alresford. Current Trustees are Mick Atterton and Gareth Rees, but there is wide community representation on the management committee. Main contacts there are Brian Clark for bookings of the rooms, Ian Wilcox as Treasurer, Moyra MacRae as chair of the fundraising committee, and Jackie Earthy as ADCA Secretary.

The photo below shows the Albert Wade drawing of the Community Centre in 1958, almost 100 years after it was first built. This drawing is perhaps in its finished form with some colour – this is published with permission from Gog Andrews – see his website on www.alresfordheritage.co.uk for this and other historical local pictures.

p-035_med

Discussion points arising

Following this historical summary, which was taken from an explanatory document in the ADCA’s records, these are the current unknowns: (Comments added by Nick Denbow 2 March 2019)

  1. The town weighbridge was sited at the edge of West Street (in the current lay-by), either outside the current Matheson Optometrists (1-3 West Street), or outside number 5 West Street. The office dealing with the weighbridge measurements was in one of these buildings.
  2. The building at #5 was constructed in 1865 as a part of the Market Hall (the photo shows it had no front door access of its own, as late as 1906). After the Market House Company went into liquidation in 1924, it is possible that Miss Baker continued to sublet rooms at #5 to Mr Adams. But it is believed there was an internal door or passageway between #5 and #7, and that there was a small meeting room at the back of #5 on the ground floor. This may be the “Small Room” that was subsequently let to the Foresters and Oddfellows at times, and later used by Dr Cronk, the Medical Officer of Health (Indeed this explains the sentence in the Community Centre records, where Dr Cronk rented the main room and two smaller rooms – without a meeting room in #5, two small rooms would not have been available). The front of #5 was an “office”, possibly for market house admin, but even possibly for the weighbridge admin.
  3. After WW2, there are memories of such a separate small room on the ground floor of the Market House being used for health clinics, ante-natal clinics, vaccinations etc – possibly the Market House had also evolved into an NHS health centre used by medical practitioners. In 1958, when the Trust was established to take care of the building, it is notable that two of the main Trustees were the town’s busiest Doctors, who could have been the most regular users of the Market House facilities. It is also notable that Wade’s 1958 drawing shows no separate front door for #5 at that time.
  4. It is not known when the current ladies toilet was completed/modernised on the ground floor of #7, but it is noticeable that this room extends into the floor plan of #5, with a doorway through the partition wall between the buildings. This must have been completed  before the sale of #5 in 1977.

 

Jane Loe of Bishops Sutton

Back in the 1960s while at Churchill College in Cambridge, one of the new friends I made was a fellow student called Bob Loe. In a recent reunion to celebrate the Golden Wedding of another college friend, I discovered Bob was a descendant of the Loe family of Selborne, that later were farmers in Bishops Sutton, in the 1800s.

Bob’s great great grandparents were Johnson and Jane Loe, and the 1851 census shows them as a farmer of 700+ acres in Bishops Sutton, employing 20 people. Johnson Loe died in 1855, and so Jane inherited the farm, and continued to run it – she was quite a wealthy widow.

Returning to current times, yesterday saw the opening of the Old Fire Station in Alresford, which now houses a horse-drawn Merryweather Fire Engine from Tichborne Park, very similar to the new engine bought by public subscription for Alresford in 1893. A similar purchase in 1858 was of a new manual fire pump, which was purchased to improve fire safety and fire fighting in the town. Cost, with 160 feet of hose to be used on the suction side, was £138.00. This fire pump was planned to be housed in the Swan Inn, at least until the building known as the “Old Fire Station” was completed in 1881. But notable amongst the list of subscribers for this pump was Mrs Loe, of Bishops Sutton: her name can be seen on the document now on display in the Old Fire Station.

fire-engineAt first I thought this could have been the old manual pump purchased in 1858, but apparently this was a model of the original manual fire pump that was housed at one time in the porch of the West entrance to St John’s in Alresford, earlier in the C19th. The model was built by George Watson in the 1970s, and is pictured here outside the (new) Alresford Fire Station.

In 1859 Mrs Loe remarried – her new husband was Edward Parsons. Possibly fairly advanced for the time was a post-nuptial agreement dated 1859 that specified that her wealth was reserved for her children, and not for Edward Parsons. Considering that she had 11 children, possibly some of the farm was split later into several smaller units. In the 1871 census, Jane was living at New House, and an associated farm: she died in 1882. Bob tells me that there is a long memorial stone to her in the outer north vestry wall of the Bishops Sutton church.

Maybe I will be able to get some photos of this stone later – and add any comments from other descendants of Mrs Loe, or Bishops Sutton farmers! First there is the picture of the manual fire pump donor list, which started this story!

IMG_0335

A notable name on this list is that of Mr J (John) Covey, of Alresford. Later, in 1881, it would be John Covey’s widow, Susanna Eliza Covey, who bought the (run-down) dwellings and land at the bottom of Broad Street, and donated this land to the Bailiff and Burgesses of the town – for them to build what we now know as the “Old Fire Station”.  We believe that the fire pump was housed prior to 1881 in the entrance to the Swan Inn, in the centre of town. Possibly it looked like the picture below, which is of the Victorian “Huntley and Palmer” factory based horse-drawn fire pump.

1899

ENDS

Old Fire Station opens!

15 September 2018. The Old Fire Station (OFS) building on Broad Street opened for the first time, in nearly 100 years, as a display of the 1893 vintage fire engine of the type that used to serve Alresford and district. It is a Merryweather, steam driven fire engine, powered by two horses, to get it along the road, and with a water tube steam boiler on the back, fired up before the engine set off, to be ready to drive the water pump on arrival at the fire. The appliance sucked water up from a nearby pond or stream, and  supplied the hoses and nozzles with this water at high pressure.

The Merryweather is in the OFS, positioned in what many would describe as backwards, as the horses would have to be attached at the back! But the outside view is better that way round!

IMG_0337 sm

The new Tichborne Park Fire Engine, now on display for various open days thru the year at the Old Fire Station, in Alresford.

Also on display on open days there will be several fireman’s helmets, of various vintages, and in the near future there will also be a display of photos of the Alresford Merryweather engine in action, provided from the local collection on the Alresfordheritage website.

The picture below shows an Evening Standard pic from 1908, showing a Merryweather racing to put out a fire…..

IMG_0367.JPG

Most of the displays link to the 1893 purchase of the Merryweather engine, subscribed by public generosity, just like the Fire Station itself. But earlier, in 1858, local subscriptions had raised enough money for a hand operated public fire pump, and a list of all those subscribing to that is also on display:

IMG_0335.JPG

There are no pictures of this original 1858 unit, but many similar fire pumps are on display in other Museum facilities around the country. Pictured below is a typical manually operated horse drawn fire pump of this type.

1880 multi-hand pump

ENDS   !

 

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, was moved 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.

fire engine

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.