Conisborough Fire Brigade – The New Fire Engine

September 1895

Mexborough and Swinton Times September 13, 1895

Conisborough Fire Brigade
The New Fire Engine

On Saturday the Conisborough Fire Brigade made elaborate preparation for the reception of their new fire engine ordered by the Parish Council from Messrs W Rose and Co Manchester.

It was intended that the engine should be met at the station by the brigade, taken through the village and tested at the Holywell Brewery ponds and that afterwards a celebration dinner should be held at the Red Lion Hotel, but an unexpected contretemps in the first part of the programme dampen the enthusiasm of everyone for the remainder of the proceedings.

The brigade, accompanied by the Conisborough Brass Band, receive the engine at the station when it was horse and driven to the Holywell brewery for the purpose of the test arranged.

In addition to the Conisborough Fire Brigade there were present Capt Pettit and members of the Mexborough Fire Brigade, members of the Stockbridge Fire Brigade, the chairman and several members of the Conisborough Parish Council, and a large gathering of the public.

The tests was however by no means satisfactory. Something was wrong with the engine, and it failed to perform the work expected of it. Messrs Rose and Co’s representative was present and was unable to correct the fault, and it was automatically decided that the engine should be sent back to the workshop and be put in order.

The dinner as arranged took place at the Red Lion Hotel on Saturday evening. Mr and Mrs Nesbitt, the author, excelled themselves in the provision of a splendid repast, which was thoroughly enjoyed by company of nearly 90.

On the removal of the class, Mr Samuel Whitfield, chairman of the Parish Council, was voted to the chair, and in opening the proceedings said he had expected to be able to congratulate them on having made the best investment that had ever been embarked in for the benefit of Conisborough, but under the circumstances it was almost too early to say anything at all. (Hear, hear). However it was an ill wind that blew nobody good, and he was sure nobody would deny they had a sumptuous repassed on account of the investment that night – (hear, hear, and laughter) – yet he was much disappointed, and you are sure that Capt Saville was equally disappointed, for Riyadh led him to believe that, with the fire engine they would be able to dispense with the police, extinguish all drunken brawls, Street rows, early goodies, and Salvation Armyies. (Laughter)

He regretted this failure more so on account of the anxiety for the safety of the Parish Council, because there was a greater risk of fire and explosion from friction than there was in a powder mill, and the members, when they found they could not extinguish one another, all set on to extinguish the chairman. (More laughter)

During their deliberations in selecting the new fire engine that storms and tempers, and a fair spell of “Merryweather,” and now when they thought they had landed on a bed of “Roses” they found they were stranded in a bank of nettles.

He was surprised that Messrs Rose and Co should have been so careless in face of the criticism they knew they would have to encounter, and knowing that so much competition had existed for the order. Messrs Rose and Co were quite conscious of all this, and their representatives are promised to perfect the engine and pay the cost of another trial, and until they did so he for one should refuse to accept it, not only himself, but also his colleagues. (Hear, hear) An old adage said “ nothing could be cheap if it was not wanted,” and that been the case he ought this purchase will be the dearest bargain ever made, because he further hoped it might never be wanted. (Applause)

Mr Gillot said that as was well known he had not agreed with decision of the Council to accept Messrs Rose and Co’s tender, and he thought then as he still thought, that Messrs Merryweather would have supplied the best engine to the Council. At the same time it did not wish it to be thought that he was glad it had been a failure. On the contrary he would have been glad if everything had gone off well, but he must admit he was keenly disappointed at the turn affairs had taken.

Capt Saville expresses great disappointment at the failure of the trial. There had been a lot of trouble in connection with the order for this engine, and he had hoped it was at an end, but apparently they ward off to wait some time longer before they could have the new fire engine that they were expecting. He sincerely hope that the Parish Council would not accept it until it was put in thorough working order. In felicitous terms he moved a vote of thanks to the members of the Mexborough and Stocksbridge Fire Brigade for coming to their assistance, and said he was sorry they had not had something better to show them for their trouble.

Mr Norwood seconded, and expressed the pleasure he had taken in the fireman’s drill which he had witnessed. After such an exhibition of skill he was sure the Conisborough Fire Brigade would not be content to play second fiddle any longer will stop

Mr J Charlesworth responded, and said that the members of his own brigade wished the Conisborough brigade every success with their new engine and promised that they would at any time assist the Conisborough Brigade in their drill, and he hoped that they will soon become so efficient as to send Mexborough a challenge.

Councillor Holmes said their enthusiasm had not abated. They knew the new fire engine had refused to throw much cold water on anything. He could not left that festive occasion clause without saying a word about their Conisborough Fire Brigade. Where could they find a finer set of men for physique and bravery? He was sure they would answer the call of duty, but he hoped the necessity would never occur. He propose a vote of thanks for their past services.

Councillor Booth responded, and said he had great pleasure in seconding. He was sure the five fellows composing their Fire Brigade were both docile and brave. He cautioned Mexborough to look to their laurels (Laughter and applause)

Captain Saville, responding, said they would hope to deserve their confidence. He hoped his comrades will assist him, and then the day was not far distant when they would have this audacity to take up their good friend Mr Charlesworth’s suggestion in a battle with the “nozzles.”

The health of the horse and also as was proposed by Mr Ogley, and seconded by Mr Appleyard, Mr Nesbitt responding.

During the evening songs were sung, and the time passed rapidly and pleasantly.