Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Hay and district
The Hay Fire Brigade
  Keep it going till we get there !  

The first mechanical fire engine in Hay was called 'Firefly', used a hand-operated water pump, and was kept by the old police station at St John's because there was a bell there !
It was a good game for the local boys to climb up and ring the fire bell, then disappear before the firemen arrived !

with thanks to
Eric Lewis Pugh
of Hay
from Hay

Fire notice, 1849
This official notice was
issued in
October 1849.
The cost of the horse-drawn
fire pump was 20 shillings
a day [per diem] for up to
one mile, plus 5 shillings a day
for every extra mile !
The person in charge, and the
Post Boy, cost 5 shillings
a day each !

The main problem with the earliest fire engines was that they had to be pulled along by horses, and the horses were often kept in a field Horse-drawn enginesome way away from the firepump.
This meant that they had to chase and catch the horses, take them to the fire engine, harness them up, and then go to the fire - if it hadn't already burned to the ground by that time !

This old photograph shows the Hay fire engine going at full gallop along Broad Street, and passing the Black Swan Inn at the corner of Bridge Street. There is more about the Firefly fire engines of Hay on the next page...

A new fire engine for Hay...


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