The Town Fire Brigade
Posted by on January 01 1970 00:02:41

An interesting question to ask about local fire services is how much have we progressed since services were robbed from local control by the County Council in 1947.  Until 1938 the provision of fire services was up to the whim of local councillors and it appears that the following authorities provided fire brigades.

Stroud Urban District Council

The Town of Stroud has been protected by a municipal fire brigade since the 1830's. It was originally established by the Town Improvement Commissioners (who were replaced by what eventually became Stroud Urban District Council). Surprisingly, it was not until 1938 that local authorities were obliged to fund a fire brigade.

Records of the Town Improvement Commisisoners are sad to say very scarce and details of the early management of the Brigade are unclear.  By the 1890's the structure of the Town Brigade and the Volenteer Brigade (perhaps in modern terms the difference between the full time firefighters and the retained firefighters) was well established.

The Stroud Brigade provided a service to the town for free and for the area within 6 miles of Stroud - for a charge. Beyond 6 miles the firefighters could only turn out if a fire involved "valuable property", presumably restricting the service to the local gentry rather than protecting the homes of ordinary working people.

Painswick Parish
Painswick Parish operated a fire service until 1938 when the service was transferred to Stroud Rural District Council.

Nailsworth Fire Brigade appears to have been established in about 1920 when the town acquired Stroud's horse drawn steam fire engine when Stroud obtained a motorised fire engine.