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Godalming Fire Station Surrey 1816 to 2011

Roy Squires 2011

Moss Lane
1816 to 1876

17th March 1848:

Meeting of Commissioners for improving the town of Godalming: It was resolved - ''That in every case where the Fire Engines are called into use to extinguish Fires of Property insured, that the Insurance Office are charged 2s, besides the expenses of Engineers an Assistants, and that the Committee in all cases use their utmost endeavours to see that the Engineers and Assistants be properly remunerated for their time and exertions, and that in case of Fires of Property not insured, the Committee are to exercise their discretion as to what charge shall be made.'' The Engine House is in Moss Lane, and the management of the Engines is vested in a committee. Keys are obtained at Messrs Othen's, Colpus's, W. Lindsays, and at the Police Station.

4th November 1867: At a Meeting in Godalming it was decided to form a Volunteer Fire Brigade.

October 1870: A Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed, supported by subscriptions. Superintendent: Mr. F. Holt. Sec: Mr, Jas. Debenham Treasurer: Mr. T. White. The brigade is under the management of a committee, consisting of two of the Town Commissioners, the Superintendent, Secretary, Treasurer, and three elected members.

Text taken from The Surrey Advertiser 18th. October 1870 found by Historian Clive Downes

Dateline September 6th. 1881: Godalming is the first town in the world to have electric street lighting.

The Wharf
1876 to 1904

Thursday 3rd May 1894:
At a Quarterly Meeting of the Town Council it was agreed to assume the entire control of Godalming Fire Brigade. The suggestions for the running of the Brigade are laid out below:

Dateline July 26th. 1894: Aldous Leonard Huxley, English novelist and critic. Born in Peperharow Road Godalming

Certificate presented by Godalming Borough Council to Captain Murray Wyatt Marshall upon his resignation in 1897

Fire Insurance Certificate

Typical Fire Brigade Expenses in 1899

Thursday 4th. June 1903: At a Special meeting of the Town Council it was agreed to accept the tender from Shand Mason & Co. to purchase a Patent Double Cylinder Vertical Steam Fire Engine with Variable Expansion Gear. The cost was £295 including delivery. And also to purchase a piece of land in Queen Street from Mr. Bridger for approximately £140 so that a new Fire Station could be built.

Thursday 15th. October 1903: At a meeting of the General Purposes Committee it was recommended that a reduced tender from Mr. David Fry to build a new Engine House for the sum of £525 be accepted. The new Station would be 29ft. 8in by 20ft. And that an application to borrow £1000 be made to purchase a new Fire Engine and land for the new Fire Station in Queen Street.

Plan of the new Queen Street Station

Queen Street
1904 to 1971

Wednesday 4th. May 1904: Godalming's new Fire Station in Queen Street is opened by the Mayoress, Mrs. Pilcher.

Local dignitaries attending Queen Street open day May 4th. 1904

May 4th. 1904

The Wharf 1904

T. Rea, Sons & Fisher Fire 7th March 1905

3rd. April 1905: Brigade Resigns! At a serious fire that occurred at T. Rea, Sons & Fisher, Oak Bark Tannery in Mill Lane the Steam Pumper Broke down. It was later found that the pump was poorly serviced. The First Engineer Mr. Tricker was demoted to Second Engineer and the Second Engineer promoted to First, with this the Brigade resigned. Their resignation was accepted, to take effect from April 10th. with the members agreeing to remain in service until May 8th. 1905 so that a new Brigade could be formed. Eight members from the old Brigade were reinstated along with 2 who had not resigned plus 12 new recruits. One of the new recruits was the original First Engineer who, when reinstated was given the job as First Engineer!

The new Steam Pumper that broke down at the Oak Bark Tannery fire Note: Our pump output tests are still carried out in exactly the same spot today. The building to the left of the pumper is still standing. 2nd. May 1905:

Report of Fire Brigade Committee, new Rules & Regulations published (following the Brigade Resignation)



The Brigade shall consist of at least 21 Members, constituted as follow namely: Two Officers (Captain and Superintendent), Foreman, First Engineer, Second Engineer, Third Engineer (or Branchman) Thirteen Firemen and Two Call Boys. The Brigade shall be under the control of the General Purposes committee of the Town Council, subject to any delegation of powers by such Committee to a Fire Brigade Committee. The Captain and Superintendent of the Brigade shall be appointed by the General Purposes Committee and all of their appointments shall be subject to the approval of that Committee. The Captain to submit to the General Purposes Committee a written Report of all Fires to which the Brigade is called within one week of its occurrence. The Captain shall have the entire management of the Brigade at all Drills and Fires. All persons wishing to join the Brigade shall make application in writing to the Captain, who shall submit the applications to the General Purposes Committee, and, if approved by them, the applicants shall be balloted for by the members of the Brigade and the person elected shall sign a copy of these Rules, agreeing to abide by the same. No person shall be eligible to join the Brigade who is under the age of 18 years, this Rule not to apply to Call Boys All Members of the Brigade (except Officers) shall retire at the age of 55 years. A Member wishing to leave the Brigade shall give one calendar month's previous notice in writing to the Town Clerk.


The First Engineer will also be paid an additional sum of £3 per annum and the Second Engineer £2 per annum, for cleaning the Steamer and keeping the same in good order. In addition to the above the Brigade will receive the following remuneration for attending a Fire, namely : Each Officer, 7/- for first three hours, 2/6 per hour after. Foreman and First Engineer, 6/- for first three hours; 1/6 per hour after. Second Engineer, 5/- for first three hours, 1/3 per hour after.

14. 2.



Third Engineer (or Branchman), 5/- for first three hours, 1/3 per hour after. Firemen (including Turncock), 4/- for first three hours, 1/- per hour after. Call Boys, -/6 per hour With a minimum charge of three hours. Additional helpers, -/6 per hour. 15. 16. The Members of the Brigade will also be allowed an annual Outing, the cost of the same being limited to 7/6 per Member. In the event of Competitions, Fire Brigade Dinners, &c., the Captain to report to the General Purposes Committee whether, in his opinion it would be advisable for any of the Brigade to attend the same; and, in case the Committee agree that they do so, the expense of the same to be paid by the Town Council. Any Member absenting himself from four consecutive Drills, and failing to give a satisfactory excuse for so doing, shall be liable to be removed from the Brigade at the discretion of the General Purposes Committee. If absent from a Fire he shall give the Captain the reason for such absence. The General Purposes Committee shall have power to dismiss any Member for inefficiency or for using profane, improper or insubordinate language, or who may be found the worse for liquor, or be guilty of any disorderly conduct at Drills, Assemblies or Fires. The General Purposes Committee reserve the right to alter any existing or make any further Rule which they think necessary or advisable

5. 6.

7. 8. 9. 10.


All Members must punctually attend the weekly Drills, and while so engaged shall submit to the discipline of and obey all orders given by the Officers in charge. Each Member of the Brigade will be provided with suitable uniform, which must be returned in good condition (wear and tear excepted) on leaving the Brigade. Members of the Brigade will receive 1/- per week, which will be forfeited in case of non-attendance at the weekly Drill. Members will also receive 1/- each on every occasion on which, in their capacity as Firemen, they attend theatrical or other performances at the Borough Hall. 18.




Thatched roof fire at Enton

Pumper At Hambledon 14th October 1905 3rd. May 1910:

Report of the General Purposes Committee:
Agreed to the installation of a Call Bell System. Every Fireman will be provided a Bell in his house with two call points, one at the Station and the other at the junction of St. Johns Street and Manor Road Farncombe. They will consist of a Break Glass with a pull handle to summon the Brigade.

. Early 1900

The second Reas Tannery Fire 1911

Coronation Procession King George V 1911

Dateline 15th. April 1912 Farncombe man Jack Phillips, Chief Wireless Telegraphist on RMS Titanic drowns after sending the first SOS ever to be used for a ship in distress

12th. July 1912:

Quarterly meeting of Godalming Town Council:
It was resolved that an instruction be made to the General Purposes Committee, to make arrangements for a Motor Car to be made immediately ready in case of fire to dispatch men and appliances to the scene of a fire as soon as possible. The Car was supplied by Victoria Motor Works, next to the Station.

Fm. H. Merrit Fm. J. Farwell Fm. D. Head

Fm. J. Farwell

15th. January 1924:

Report of the Fire Brigade Committee:
With regard to the proposal to purchase a Motor Fire Engine an offer having been received from Messrs. E.D. Horne & Co, Auto-Engineers, of London to sell to the Corporation for £750 a 60 H.P. Dennis Fire Engine of 1913 pattern supplied to the French Government, and never yet been in use, the following recommendation of the Fire Brigade Committee was adopted, namely:- That the offer of Messrs. E.D. Horne & Co to send a 60 H.P. Dennis Fire Engine to Godalming for a week's trial and demonstration be accepted provided the Corporation incurs no liability and is put to no expense in the matter and is given first refusal of purchase. Arising out of this matter the Fire Brigade Committee were empowered if thought desirable to obtain Expert advice as to what kind of Engine which would be best suited for the needs of the Borough & District.

Dateline 8th. June 1924: Godalming man George Mallory, lost on Everest in his attempt at the summit.

Carnival Parade 1924

Dennis in Meadrow Godalming

Group Photo Queen Street 1935 Committee Meeting September 14th. 1936:

Salvus Breathing Apparatus.
It was agreed that a further set of Salvus Breathing apparatus be purchased from Messrs. Siebe Gorman & Co. at a cost of £17. 6. 0. This apparatus is designed to combat ammonia fumes generated by freezing plant, and is in general use throughout the country. The Brigade already possess one set, and it was aggreed by the Committee in February last that a second set should be purchased during this year.

This set may be similar to the one purchased by Godalming in 1936

The wedding of Miss V. Colpus & Jack Farwell 1937

The Best Man JackPortt

Coronation Procession King George VI 1937

1938: Campaign began to recruit personnel to join an Auxiliary Fire Service. They were trained by Whole-time Firemen at their local Fire Station on a weekly basis, and were used full-time during the second war to assist with fire-fighting. The AFS was disbanded in 1968.

Early postcard humour!

This plaque once sited outside Queen St. Fire Station is now located inside our new station at Bridge Road.

Dennis turning out of Queen Street Station

1940: Brass fire helmets replaced by a stronger helmet constructed of cork. (brass helmets had been used for approx. 70 years)


18th. August 1941: National Fire Service formed to amalgamate the country's Fire Brigades throughout the war.

Back row right Fm. Harry Edwards

Front row right Fm. Bert Marshall

Late 1940s
Harry Edwards & Bert Marshall both lived in Peperharow Road. When the bells went down, Bert & Harry would pedal off on their bikes to Queen Street. When Harry got a motor cycle, if Bert was home would jump on the back and they would be there in double quick time! Photo courtesy Pauline Baldwin, Bert Marshall's daughter.

1st. April 1948: Surrey Fire Brigade is born following the disbanding of the National Fire Service. Surrey County Council is now responsible for the running of the brigade.

Dateline January 4th. 1949: Footballer Mick Mills MBE born. He lived at Aarons Hill Godalming.

1959: Surrey was the first brigade in the country to take emergency calls at a central location. Prior to this calls were directed to individual fire stations. *****************

Bridge Road
1971 -

Godalming Fire Station is now a two pump "fully Retained" Station in the South of Surrey, employing 18 Fire-fighters. It is one of 24 Stations, 7 of which are fully Retained "part time" in Surrey.

Surrey's Command & Control Centre, based at Reigate, receives all of the Counties 999 Emergency calls. In 2008 Surrey attended 1232 Road Traffic Collisions and 1566 property fires. Emergency Calls to Godalming are sent via Teleprinter from our Reigate Control Centre, at the same time alerting us by Pager. Godalming's Station ground covers approx. 29.5 square miles, including Heath land, Wood land, Small Villages and Towns.

Godalming's Ford 1983

Sub/O Chiverton Fm O'Connell Fm James Fm Irving L/Fm Ranger Fm Hawkins Fm Hill Fm Balchin Fm TownerFm Curry L/Fm Hall Fm Sirett Fm Farnfield Fm Aitken (D.O Stevens D.O Nagle West Division) Stn/O Snelling Fm Squires L/Fm Booker

Charity work! 1988

Godalming's Volvo 1991

Receiving my long Service Medal 1996

Training on the Dunsfold Aerodrome Fire Services Rig 1998

Fire Behaviour Training 2001

3rd. from left Ff Roy Squires 7th. from left Ff Laurence Newman 8th. from left Ff Lloyd Hampshire

Godalming's Dennis Rapier 2002

Inn on the Lake fire 2002

June 2003
Ff McDonald Ff Mackenzie Ff Linegar Ff Jackson Ff Fishlock Ff Adaway Ff Edwards Ff Hargreaves Ff Newman Ff Squires Ff Hampshire Ff Hanscomb Ff Irving L/Ff Croker L/Ff Fry Temp. Stn/O Hall Stn/O Brown L/Ff Dean L/Ff O'Connell L/Ff .....

The Current Crew:
Watch Manager Tim Hall Crew Manager Mick Croker Crew Manager Chris Dean Crew Manager Andy Fry Crew Manager "Name removed as requested" Firefighter Ben Adaway Firefighter Gary Edwards Firefighter Dave Fishlock Firefighter Joe Holden Firefighter Jamie Irving Jnr. Firefighter Jim Irving Snr. Firefighter Andrew Kimbell Firefighter Robert Lawrence Firefighter Clive Linegar Firefighter Tony Parsons-Smith Crew Manager Timothy Readings Firefighter Paul Sawyer Firefighter Roy Squires

Pager currently used to alert the crew

Copy of an actual teleprinter message

Former members of Godalming Fire station
Aitken Neill R. Annis John Archer H. Ayling Doug Badger Keith Balchin Richard Baldwin Keith Bateman Paul Beagley A. Beagley H.W. Bearman W.A. Beattie Philip D. Bennett Andrew Berry Tom Beswick Bill Beswick Stan Bicknell Bill Bicknell H. Bicknell Stewart Bigmore Jess Bishop G. Boarden Tony Booker Paul Booker Peter Bookham J. Bowers Wally Boxall Len Boxall P. Bradfield Bridger R. Brown Andy Brummell Alf Brummell Sid Butler Firefighter Firefighter Fireman Call Boy / Fireman Firefighter Firefighter Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Sub/Officer Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Leading/Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman / Driver Section Leader Fireman Engineer Fireman Watch Manager Fireman Fireman / Driver Station Officer

Caesar Ben Caesar Charlie Caesar Frederick Caesar Geoffrey Richard Caesar George Caesar George (Senior) Caesar Jack Caesar Roman Cannom David Cartwright Dave Chamberlin K. Chandler Earnie Chandler Graham Chitty Max Chiverton Geofrey M.B.E. Coleman Tony Colpus W.A. Conlon Neil Cozens Frank Cranstone H. Curry Duncan Daniels D. Darling W.H. Debenham Paul A. Denyer Reg Downes Sid T. Draper Jason B. Dunn Les Edgington W. Edwards Alan Edwards F. Edwards Harry Ekins Tom Everett H. Farminer Dave Farnfield Chris R. Farwell Jack F. Ford Arthur Fudger Harry F. Gadney Chris

Fireman Fireman Fireman Sub/Officer Fireman Fireman Fireman Call Boy Firefighter Fireman Superintendent Turn Cock Fireman Fireman Station Officer Firefighter (Key holder for Moss Lane Engine House) Firefighter Station Officer Fireman Fireman Foreman Fireman Firefighter Leading/Fireman Fireman Firefighter Leading/Fireman Superintendant Leading/Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Captain Fireman Leading/Firefighter Fireman Fireman Fireman Firefighter

Gates Jack Giles Archie J. Glue Fred Glue Tim Gowers Colin N. Gowers Nigel Gowers Peter R. Gregory Norman Hackman W. Hampshire Bill C. Hampshire Lloyd Hargreaves Trevor Hanscomb Chris B Hatcher F. Hawkins Terry Hayler D. John Head Dennis Head Harold Heade Hill Nigel Hill Sandy Hoddinott Tim Holt Andy Horn Charlie Horn Fred Jr. Horn Fred Sr. Humphres Henry Jackson Mark C. James Dave R. Keen Steve M. Kemble J. Kemp J. Kinggett James Kingshott F. Knight W.E. Lawes W. Lillywhite E. Lindsey W. Mackenzie Alex Marshall Arthur "Bert"

Captain Station Officer Fireman Firefighter Leading/Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Messenger Fireman Firefighter Firefighter Firefighter Fireman Leading/Fireman Sub/Officer Call Boy / Fireman Fireman Fireman Firefighter Call Boy / Fireman Fireman Fireman Engineer Fireman Fireman Forman Firefighter Leading/Firefighter Firefighter Turncock Turncock Second Engineer Fireman Chief Officer Fireman Fireman (Key holder for Moss Lane Engine House) Firefighter Fireman

Marshhall Murray Wyatt J.P. Mayers W. McDonald Lee Mcmahon Vic Merritt Harold Merritt Henry Charles "Toby" Moulten Terry Mullard W. Murch Lenny Neate David Newman A.J. Newman Laurence O'Connell Martin G. Othen John Page John Page Walt Pamment R. Portt Victor Jack Pratt Jack Rainbird Reg Ranger Kevin Rapley Earnie Remnant Percy (Senior) Remnant Percy (Junior) Rogers Harry Searle George Sherlock J. Simerson Jack Sirett Chris Sloan Cyril Smith W. Smollett Alec Snelling Peter Soul Derick Stacey Ron Stafford F. Steer Harry (Backer) Stone Arthur Stone Bert Stone Collin

Captain Fireman Firefighter Sub/Officer Fireman Driver / Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Surgeon Firefighter Leading/Fireman Captain (Key holder for Moss Lane Engine House) Leading/Fireman Fireman Fireman Call Boy / Sub/Officer Fireman Foreman Leading/Fireman Call Boy / Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Messenger Fireman Watch Manager Fireman Fireman Leading/Fireman Assistant Divisional Officer (Retained) Fireman Fireman Second Engineer Fireman Fireman Leading/Fireman Fireman

Stone T. Norman Stone Tom Taylor Sydney L. Thomson H.F. Titcomb Goff Towner Adrian Tricker R. Tubb Charley Tubbs F. Tuffley Kevin Vail Gilbert (Bert) Wakeford C. Waller D. Wallis Bert Waterman Jack Weisse John Welsh Karen West Dick Wiley F. Winter John Witcher A. Woods Raymond Wylie Fred Yeatman Tom Young Bill

Captain Fireman Captain Captain Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Messenger Firefighter Fireman Fireman Call Boy Fireman Fireman Fireman Firefighter Fireman Captain Driver / Fireman Messenger Station Officer Fireman Fireman Fireman



I would like to thank the following for some of the photographs in this document. Ann Holland (Australia) Daughter of Jack Farwell Godalming Borough Council Godalming Museum Jim Irving Pauline Baldwin Also: Historian Clive Downes for information given. Janwillem Bech "The Rebreather" web site.

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