Rye Fire Pump

Old Rye Fire Pump

This old horse drawn steam water pump, photographed in his youth by Mike Whiteman, seems to be an appliance belonging to Rye Fire Brigade.

Can any of our readers throw more light on the subject. What was the date it was introduced? Over what period was it used?. And who are the firemen in the picture?

It has iron clad wheels and a single shaft requiring two or more horses to pull it.

Rye Fire Pump
Rye Fire Pump

From the position it is parked, it seems to be on the ground behind the Town Salts, it is probable that this was at the time of the major fire at the Iron Foundry and that it was used to pump water to the fire. One reader has told us that the horses to pull the pump were housed at Wright and Pankhurst’s building in Tower Street. Whether the pump was housed there at that time or at the Town Hall she could not remember.

The Rye Fire Brigade has had a brilliant record over the years in a town that has always been a difficult fire risk with its citadel houses packed so closely together. Their success over the years must be attributed, in great part, to their local knowledge and rapid response.

Today the modern service is still manned by part time firefighters from the town and their turn out time can be measured in very few minutes to any part of the town.

The Rye service also covers the immediate villages, Iden, Peasmarsh, Camber etc. and act as back up to other services in the area.

Throughout the recent strikes part time fire fighters have remained on duty, they come under a different union, ensuring that Rye and District still enjoy the security of protection around the clock.

Rye's Old Fire Pump
Rye’s Old Fire Pump

It is nice to know that Rye is watched over by such a responsible body of men.

“Rye’s Own” January 2003

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