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photo: © Midhurst Fire Station
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Midhurst Fire Station c.1905
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Midhurst Fire Brigade 1895 
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Midhurst Fire Brigade 1910 
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The Wharf
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Firefighter hailed a life-saving hero
5 Sept. 2011
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Firefighter Nigel Gamblen has been hailed a hero after he saves womans life..Read article
 

 

MIDHURST FIRE BRIGADE
New Road, Midhurst GU29 9HY
 
Station 19 - West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service - Chichester District
2 bay station opened 1970 - retained crews [Nov.2009=17]
Attended incidents within Midhurst area for 2006/2007 = 286
Attended incidents within Midhurst area for 2009/2010 = 267
 
Appliances 2 x Water Tender Ladder [WrL]
2004 Scania - call sign 19P1
1994 Dennis Rapier TF202 - call sign 19P2
 
4x4 off road vehicle with firefighting capability [L4T]
2005 Landrover 130 - call sign 19M1


In 1865 a voluntary Fire Brigade was formed in Midhurst. In the beginning the Brigade had two horse drawn appliances which were hand pumped. and based in a part of the old Town Hall and jail in Market Square, the horses being kept in the fields at St. Annes. The complete building was later allocated to the fire brigade.
The photo of the fire station shows the alarm pull and bells which are still in place today. These would have been clearly heard at the Fire Brigade Arms, a public house close by on West Street, which was a favourite haunt of the firemen.
 
A Delaunay Belleville motor fire engine was bought by the Rural District Council. This proved to be too large to fit through the doorway and alterations had to be done, not only in widening the door but lowering the floor by some 2 feet. A much later photo showing the alterations is seen here [left] with the Leyland Cub visible in the doorway.
The French Delaunay had steel studded front wheels and solid rubber rear tyres and no doubt difficult to drive under normal conditions, not to mention rushing to a fire.
 
This appliance was replaced by a Leyland Cub in 1934. This was still in operation 14 years later, when on April Fools Day 1948 the brigade became part of the new West Sussex Fire Brigade. During the war years the Midhurst brigade was part of Region 12 when the National Fire Service was formed in September 1941.
 
In 1955 and for the next 15 years the brigade was based in a new station built at the Wharf. This station, close to the old gas works, near the end of the Wharf, proved totally unsatisfactory. Not only was the station awkward for crews to reach quickly in a call out but was, by its position, prone to congestion. The increase in traffic, particularly through the 60's, often caused the appliances to become trapped in the narrow streets.
 
The present day station became operational on 26th October 1970. Its position on a main road giving good access not only to the town centre but to the routes leading to the villages and areas covered by the brigade.
In 1970 the new station began operations with a Dennis D series WrL and 2 Land Rover appliances.

sources
David Walsh
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service
50 Years of the West Sussex Fire Service
  Callsign 1912 travels through Midhurst
Inside Midhurst fire engine callsign 1912 going through town
 

 
Vintage Fire Brigade images
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