Scope and Content

This document came to us via the local studies library in April 1984 and was then assigned the accession number 3196. It was originally found amongst the papers of a private individual of Kennington.

It was in 1875 that the town got its own volunteer fire brigade and obtained a fire engine. In 1879 however, the service was tested and found to be wanting when a fire broke out at the mop factory of T. and W. Early in the High street and destroyed it despite it being within a few yards of the river and behind the fire station. This original fire brigade had its headquarters in Millin's yard and continued to operate from there as a horse drawn unit until 1927. It was responsible for the municipal area of Witney only: in the 1920s this did not include Cogges or Newland. After a ruinous fire at Pritchard's Glove works in Newland which the Witney fire brigade refused to attend, the Urban District Council stepped in to organise a larger fire brigade. An old barn behind the Corn Exchange became the new headquarters and today the fire service has a modern building put up in the 1960s on the Welch Way development. The whereabouts of other records of the fire brigade are not known.

Catalogued by Jeanette Grisold, November 1993.

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