In the 18th
and early 19th Centuries people subscribed to fire insurance
companies to ensure that help would arrive (eventually) to
fight a fire at their properties. A fire insurance plaque
fitted to the front of a building indicated to which company
the owner belonged. One example of a fire insurance plaque
still in place is at 22 Castlegate. The circular plaque has
an emblem of three crowns surrounded by the words ‘Notts
and Derbys’ representing the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire
Fire Insurance Company.
The vestry Minutes for 12 February 1852 (included here courtesy
of Doncaster Archives) tell us when Tickhill obtained its
new fire engine to fight a fire anywhere in the local community.
Resolved: that a fire engine having been provided for
the use of the Parish – by general subscription –
and the same having been this day as by agreement transferred
to the Churchwardens for the time being into their custody
– that they be now fully authorised to pay yearly any
sum not exceeding two guineas as remuneration for Firemen
(now eighteen in number) for working and keeping the same
Edw H Brrohksbank Vicar
The Vestry Minutes for 23 April 1878 noted ‘Mr Rawson
presented the accounts of the Fire Engine, showing a balance
of £3/118/3 – the accounts were allowed and passed.’
The Minutes made no mention of the fire engine actually being
||As in the photograph provided
courtesy of Mrs Joan Wilcox, a descendant of Mr Rawson,
the fire engine was horse drawn and fitted with manual
pumps needing up to eight people to operate them. The
firemen had no uniforms but eight are shown in the photograph
with helmets. The engine carried a tank of water. A photograph
on page 76 of Bawtry, Tickhill and Wadworth by Peter Tuffrey
shows the Tickhill fire engine in a farmyard being replenished
with water from a large barrel. Once the water ran out,
the engine would either have to be supplied from a pond,
stream or well, or return to the farmyard for refilling.
If a fire broke out, the men were summoned from their
usual occupations by the tolling of the church bell, a
practice which continued up to the 1930s.
In 1946 the Fire force Commander at Sheffield asked if two
manual pumps from Tickhill could go to the Sheffield Fire
Service Museum. Tickhill Urban District Council agreed to
grant this request ‘on loan’. The horse drawn
fire engine and another pump are now on display in Doncaster
With mobilisation of the Auxiliary Fire Service in 1939,
Tickhill UDC had to make sure enough equipment was available
for the fire fighters. The fire hose was ‘practically
unusable’ so in 1940 the Clerk ordered five fifty foot
lengths of 2¾ inch hose costing £6/1/- per length.
The Council then bought four extending ladders (£2/19/6
each) and 500 four-gallon petrol tins (costing approximately
a total of £3/2/6). The Council also purchased overalls,
boots and helmets for the Fire Brigade Chief and eight men.
|Most of the AFS fire
fighters were farm workers, classed as a reserved occupation,
and the men were not liable to serve in the armed forces.
The Chief of Tickhill Fire Brigade, Mr W Davies, was paid
a retaining fee of £5 p.a. while other fire fighters
received £1/10/- p.a. Additionally, the men received
2/- for attending fire practice. Pay for attending fires
was 2/- per hour in the day time and 3/- per hour at night.
The hourly rates for the chief were 3/6 (day time) and
5/- (night time). The photograph on the right provided
courtesy of Mrs Linda Mayes shows the Brigade including
her father, the late Walter Cannings, second from the
right on the middle row. After the War, Tickhill had three
retained firemen but in January 1946 their engagement
Doncaster Archives has kindly given permission for the
following holdings in the archive to be quoted on this website
- Tickhill Vestry Minutes of 1852 and 1878 Ref P56/4/A1, Tickhill
Urban District Council Minutes 1939-1946 Ref UDTICK/1/9.