Mexborough and Swinton Times March 3rd 1927
Conisbrough Fire Brigade
The annual dinner at the Conisbrough Fire Brigade was held last Thursday at the Fox hotel. Coun. J. Maxfield presided. Councillor I. Webster proposing “the Fire Brigade” commented on the efficiency of the men. He recollected measuring the brigade for its first uniform. “F. B.” Stood for “Fire Brigade” and “Froth Blowers,” and as far as he could see they were useful at both operations (laughter).
Capt R. J. Clarkson responding, said he had a very fine set of men who responded heartily, they had fine firefighting equipment in all its branches and an adequate supply of water. He could cope with a fire in any part of the town.
Mr A. E. Bennett proposed “the Urban District Council.” He regretted the absence of Labour councillors from the function. A considerable amount of work had been got through in the last two years. The council might be better, and it might be worse. He noticed that the Citizens Association proposed to make a raid on the impregnable Labour strongholds in Denaby. It was regrettable that we as ratepayers were having to find money, owing to the recent fiasco. He hoped that the Board of Guardians or whoever became responsible would cut down the poor rate in proportion, as they had increased it. Conisbrough was in safekeeping whilst Mr Thirlwall was at the helm. The officials were about 75% of the council and unless their advice was sound we were in for a bad time. He hoped that Conisbrough would continue prosperous.
In the absence of Councillor J. Drabble, Mr W. W. Norwood responded. He thought that the council had done its best and had been led by an excellent man. It was progressive and had created lots of improvements. He recalled the first parish council of 1894, when Mr S. Whitfield was chairman, and he was vice chairman. “I must be an old beggar now” he said, “but we kept things going from bad to worse” (laughter). They had an old fire engine which they scrapped. 30 years ago they were proud of it, but it was now obsolete except for church parades. He recalled a brewery fire where what was deficient in water was made up in beer. He had been chairman of the Fire Brigade committee and had taken a special pride in the efficiency of the men.
The captain, here interposed with a story regarding the brewery fire. The late Mr G. Harrison, who was captain, was also postmaster. During the fire the hose kept bursting and Mr Harrison’s attention was drawn to so many little holes that in despair he said: “what shall I do?” “Stick some stamps on it” called out a spectator.
Mr H. Thirlwall, surveyor and sanitary inspector, proposed “Town and Trade.” He stated that Conisbrough was one of the best and healthiest places to live in despite the smallpox. During the past year there had been an acute depression in the coal industry, and consequently in the glass bottle trade, which might have had a year of unparalleled prosperity. There was criticism of what had been done regarding permitting trackless vehicles to run. It had been stated that it would take trade out, but there was a perfect answer to that. It was also likely to bring trade in, that is if cheap facilities and entertainments were provided. Last year he outlined the firefighting facilities. Now more chemicals we being used as they were more efficacious. Science today was looking out new methods to fight fires.
The increase in rates was not due to the councils because, it was due to the unfortunate call of the Board of Guardians owing to the relief on loan as it was called.
Responding, Mr T. Rawding said that we were the “not very well are we up to now,” the strike would be a long time felt, but if all made a habit of thinking “the more we are together,” and made it a sort of National Anthem, we should be better. Now we had turned round trade should go by leaps and bounds if we had the faith and the will.
Musical items where rendered by Messrs. Robinson, H. Kirby, A. E. Berry, V. A. Rich, F. Robinson and A. Illingsworth.