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Taking the Burn out of Burniston

by firefighterwood

Contributed by 
firefighterwood
People in story: 
Fred Wood and his son Tom Wood, also Oswald Beadle, Fred Hill, George Coates, Henry Pearson, Lal Lion, Walter Collier, John Burton and Charles Bennett.
Location of story: 
Burniston, Nr Scarborough, NorthYorkshire
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A3870669
Contributed on: 
07 April 2005

My grandfather , Fred Wood, aGarage Proprietor,lived in a small village on the southern edge of the North York Moors and comes from a fire-fighting family, his father having being a Superintendant of the Heckmondwyke Fire Brigade and founder of the Firemens Friendly Society .
During the crises Mr Wood wondered what service he could perform. He attended A.R.P. meetings, and it was suggested that he might undertake air raid warden duties. Mr Wood's heart, however, was governed by family tradition. Seeing that there was little chance of the village's being equipped with fire-fighting appliances at Home Office expense, he there and then decided to form a brigade of his own and supply his own equipment.
He experimented with oldoil drums for tanks, got a had rotary pump, lengths of hose, a few fire buckets, chemical extinguishers and an extension ladder.
Satisfield that his theory was practical, he made a trailer to connect to a motor car, fitted the various brackets, installed a 50 gallon tank in the centre, a Home Office stirrup pump behind, and supplied a couple of chemical extinguishers and a super-structure to carry a 20-foot extension ladder. Six buckets of sand were conveniently arranged in the trailer, and room was found for various tools, such as saws and an axe, which are sometimes necesary in fighting a fire. The next step was to paint the buckets and tanks in appropriate red, finish the trailer off in battleship grey and the unit was complete. As to Uniform - he still had his late fathers!
The original personel consisted of himself and his son Thomas, my father, Both could drive a car to which the trailer was attached, but when it comes to actually fire fighting Mr Wood sn would operate the hose and Tom would do the pumping!
The cost of the trailer and its contents was about £40. The upkeep was virtually negligible.

Others who late joined were Ossie Beadle, Fred Hill, George Coates, Henry Pearson, Lal Lion, Walter Colier, John Burton and Charlie Bennett. The H>Q> was the old shop next to Mr Wood's Garage and filling station. The shop was fitted with a telephone and a rota system set up with 2 or 3 on duty each night. They passed the time playing dominoes. The pumps were washed out from the adjoining pond and it was not unknown for the Firement todrench each other whilst doing this..
These men were the first to help when a stick of bombs hit Burniston, no one was killed but Tom Wood had to pull one old man, still in his night shirt, from the rubble of his home.

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This story has been placed in the following categories.

Air Raids and Other Bombing Category
North Yorkshire Category
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