Historic Ryde Society

‘Giving Ryde’s Past to the Future’

Historic Ryde Society Quiz Night Thursday 28 September 2023 at Yelf's Hotel, at 7p.m. for 7.30pm.

The Fire Brigade

Isle of Wight Observer July 3, 1875

THE FIRE BRIGADE- The local Fire Brigade, under Capt Buckett, went out for practice on Thursday night with the hose and reel. They went to the Esplanade first, testing the force of the hydrants, and then proceeded to the Nelson-street Chapel the front part of which had a thorough good washing. Several houses in Cross-street were also subjected to the same ordeal.


Isle of Wight Observer January 22, 1870

On Friday evening last, between 9 and 10 o’clock, a little girl was passing up Union-road, when she saw dense volumes os smoke issuing from the roof of Mr Leonard Halstead’s workshops, which is situated next door to Mr Cheverton’s wine and spirit stores. Mr Buckett, at the Town-hall, as well as the police, were speedily communicated with, and they were on the spot almost with the rapidity of lightning; indeed, within a quarter of an hour from the time of the alarm, 19 out of the 20 firemen were there at work with the hose and the plug. It is a subject relfecting the highest credit on our local firemen, whose prompt exertions were undoubtedly the means of saving a great destruction of valuable property. It appears that the workmen in the employ of Mr Halstead had, on Friday afternoon been melting lead, for which purpose they had kept up a large fire, which heated the back of the fire place so much that some tarred planking at the back of the bricks began to sweal (sic) and at the time the girl first saw the smoke, had burnt out and caught some of the wood work of the ceiling on fire. The firemen carried the hose over the roof to the spot where the fire was burning, and by dint of great exertion got it under by 12 o’clock. In the upper part of the workshops there are two rooms, one of which is used for storing paper, and this was immediately removed. As it was, the ceiling was much scorched; and in the work room, from which it is divided by a thin partition, there was a large hole burnt in the ceiling. the lower part of the building is used as a store for turpentine, oil, &c., and contained a large quantity of these dangerous materials. Had the fire caught hold of these, there would probably have been an explosion, and considering that the next building was filled with wines and spirits, and moreover that it is only separated by a thin brick wall, we have much reason to be thankful that the fire was so promptly suppressed. The greatest possible credit is due to Mr Buckett, and the firemen generally; also to the police, who did all in their power and watched the premises all night in case of further outbreak. The damage fortunately is trifling, not exceeding £20, and that appears to have been caused more by water than fire. The building, we understand, is insured, but not Mr Halstead’s stock.

Fire, April 1889

Isle of Wight Observer April 27, 1889

On Sunday morning at five o’ clock a waterman named Harry Smith was passing the Pier Hotel, going towards the Pier when he observed flames in the coffee-room. He gave information to Harry Gladdis, a toll-collector at the Pier, and then notified the fact to the fire brigade and the police, who quickly arrived. Gladdis succeeded in giving warning at the hotel, and the small hand-engine kept on the premises, together with the plentiful supply of water from the large tank on the top of the building, sufficed, when the casing of the window which was burning had been pulled down, to extinguish the flames without the use of the hose. Considerable damage was done to the carpets and furniture, as well as to the new wallpaper. The place was full of visitors, but very few of them were aware of what had occurred until the next morning. The fire is attributed to the over-heating of the flue from the new range which has been placed under the coffee-room, a large fire having been kept up for the purpose of supplying hot water in all parts of the building. The damage is estimated at from £150 to £200. – Another fire occurred on Tuesday morning, at about four o’clock, on the premises of Mr A Bevis, hosier &c., Union-street. It seems that some passengers from the mail-boat, in coming up the Pier, observed smoke issuing from the chimneys, and, in walking up Union-street, they smelt the smoke. A little boy named Norris, aged about 13 or 14, ran to the police station and called Mr Supt. Hinks and several fire-men, and the Captain of the fire-brigade (Mr C Langdon) was also summoned. The hose and reel soon arrived – indeed, we are informed that the fire brigade turned out quicker than they have done for a score of years. The door was burst open, and Mr F Morant on his hands and knees gallantly took in the nozzle and water was poured on the seat of the fire. The shutters were broken down and a second hose was brought into action and the full force of the water speedily extinguished the fire. The stock was greatly damaged by the smoke. Mr Bevis is moving lower down the street and his furniture had already been shifted. Workmen had been engaged on Monday in taking down the fittings, and the stock was to have been removed on Tuesday. the cause of the fire is unknown. The damage has been valued at from £150 to £200.