Queen Street Era

1904 to 1971


Wednesday 4th. May 1904:

Godalming's new Fire Station in Queen Street is opened by the Mayoress, Mrs. Pilcher.

Queen Street Open Day Photo
Local dignitaries attending Queen Street open day
May 4th. 1904

The New Station

3rd. April 1905:

Brigade Resigns!

At a serious fire that occurred at T. Rea, Sons & Fisher, Oak Bark Tannery in Mill Lane the Steam Pumper Broke down. It was later found that the pump was poorly serviced.

The First Engineer Mr. Tricker was demoted to Second Engineer and the Second Engineer promoted to First, with this the Brigade resigned. Their resignation was accepted, to take effect from April 10th. with the members agreeing to remain in service until May 8th. 1905 so that a new Brigade could be formed.

Eight members from the old Brigade were reinstated along with 2 who had not resigned plus 12 new recruits. One of the new recruits was the original First Engineer who, when reinstated was given the job as First Engineer!

Steam Pumper at The Wharf
The new Steam Pumper that broke down at the
Oak Bark Tannery fire

Our pump output tests are still carried out in exactly the same spot today.

The building to the left of the pumper is still standing.

2nd. May 1905:

Report of Fire Brigade Committee, new Rules & Regulations (following the Brigade Resignation):



                   1.         The Brigade shall consist of at least 21 Members, constituted as follows
namely: Two Officers (Captain and Superintendent), Foreman, First Engineer, Second Engineer, Third Engineer (or Branchman), Thirteen Firemen and Two Call Boys.
                   2.          The Brigade shall be under the control of the General Purposes com-
                                        mittee of the Town Council,  subject to any delegation of powers by 
                                        such Committee to a Fire Brigade Committee.
                   3.          The Captain and Superintendent of the Brigade shall be appointed by the
                                        General Purposes Committee and all of their appointments shall be 
subject to the approval of that Committee.
                    4.         The Captain to submit to the General Purposes Committee a written
                                         Report of all Fires to which the Brigade is called within one week 
                                         of its occurrence.
                    5.           The Captain shall have the entire management of the Brigade at all
                                          Drills and Fires.
                    6.           All   persons wishing to join the Brigade shall make application in
                                           writing to the Captain, who shall submit the applications to the
                                           General Purposes Committee, and, if approved by them, the
                                           and the person elected shall sign a copy of these Rules, agreeing to 
abide by the same.
                    7.            No   person shall be eligible to join the Brigade who is under the age of
                                           18  years, this Rule not to apply to Call Boys.
                    8.            All   Members of the Brigade (except Officers) shall retire at the age of
                                            55 years.
                    9.            A     Member wishing to leave the Brigade shall give one calendar month's
                                            previous notice in writing to the Town Clerk.
                  10.            All   Members must punctually attend the weekly Drills, and while so
                                             engaged shall submit to the discipline of and obey all orders given 
by the Officers in charge.
                  11.            Each Member of the Brigade will be provided with suitable  uniform,
                                              which must be returned in good condition (wear and tear ex-
                                              cepted) on leaving the Brigade.
                  12.            Members of the Brigade will receive 1/- per week, which will be for-
                                               feited in case of non-attendance at the weekly Drill. Members will
                                               also receive 1/- each on every occasion on which, in their capacity
                                               as Firemen, they attend theatrical or other performances at the
                                               Borough Hall.
                  13.             The   First Engineer will also be paid an additional sum of £3 per annum, 
and the Second Engineer £2 per annum, for cleaning the Steamer and keeping the same in good order.
                  14.            In addition to the above the Brigade will receive the following remuner-
                                               ation for attending a Fire, namely :
                                                    Each Officer, 7/- for first three hours, 2/6 per hour after.
                                                    Foreman and First Engineer, 6/- for first three hours; 1/6 per
                                                           hour after.
                                                    Second Engineer, 5/- for first three hours, 1/3 per hour after.
                                                    Third Engineer (or Branchman), 5/- for first three hours, 1/3 per 
                                                           hour after.
                                                    Firemen (including Turncock), 4/- for first three hours, 1/- per
                                                           hour after.
                                                    Call Boys, -/6 per hour
                                                                      With a minimum charge of three hours. 
                                                   Additional helpers, -/6 per hour.
                  15.           The Members of the Brigade will also be allowed an annual Outing, the
                                           cost of the same being limited to 7/6 per Member. 

                  16.            In the event of Competitions, Fire Brigade Dinners, &c., the Captain to
                                            report to the General Purposes Committee whether, in his opinion,
                                            it would be advisable for any of the Brigade to attend the same;
                                            and, in case the Committee agree that they do so, the expense of
                                            the same to be paid by the Town Council.                                   

                  17.            Any Member absenting himself from four consecutive Drills,  and failing 
                                             to give a satisfactory excuse for so doing, shall be liable to be 
                                             removed from  the Brigade at the discretion of the General Purposes
                                             Committee.              If absent from a Fire he shall give the Captain the 
                                             reason for such absence.                                   

                  18.            The General Purposes Committee shall have power to dismiss any Mem-
                                            ber for inefficiency or for using profane, improper or insubordinate
                                             language, or who may be found the worse for liquor, or be  guilty of
                                             any disorderly conduct at Drills, Assemblies or Fires.
                   19.            The General Purposes Committee reserve the right to alter any existing
                                             or make any further Rule which they think necessary or advisable.


3rd. May 1910:

Report of the General Purposes Committee:

Agreed to the installation of a Call Bell System. Every Fireman will be provided a Bell in his house with two call points, one at the Station and the other at the junction of St. Johns Street and Manor Road Farncombe.
They will consist of a Break Glass with a pull handle to summon the Brigade.

Jack Phillips

Dateline 15th. April 1912

Farncombe man Jack Phillips, Chief Wireless Telegraphist on RMS Titanic
drowns after sending the first SOS ever to be used for a ship in distress.

12th. July 1912:

Quarterly meeting of Godalming Town Council:

It was resolved that an instruction be made to the General Purposes Committee, to make arrangements for a Motor Car to be made immediately ready in case of fire to dispatch men and appliances to the scene of a fire as soon as possible.
The Car was supplied by Victoria Motor Works, next to the Statio

Brass Plaque

This plaque unveiled in 1924 and was once sited outside the Queen St. Fire Station.
It is now located inside our new station at Bridge Road.
(more information)

15th. January 1924:

Report of the Fire Brigade Committee:

With regard to the proposal to purchase a Motor Fire Engine an offer having been received from Messrs. E.D. Horne & Co, Auto-Engineers, of London to sell to the Corporation for £750 a 60 H.P. Dennis Fire Engine of 1913 pattern supplied to the French Government, and never yet been in use, the following recommendation of the Fire Brigade Committee was adopted, namely:- That the offer of Messrs. E.D. Horne & Co to send a 60 H.P. Dennis Fire Engine to Godalming for a week's trial and demonstration be accepted provided the Corporation incurs no liability and is put to no expense in the matter and is given first refusal of purchase.

Arising out of this matter the Fire Brigade Committee were empowered if thought desirable to obtain Expert advice as to what kind of Engine which would be best suited for the needs of the Borough & District.

12th. February 1924:

Meeting of the General Purposes Committee:

The Chairman reported that in accordance with the resolution passed at the last Council Meeting the Motor Fire Engine offered for sale to the Town Council by Messrs. E.B. Horne & Co. had been purchased for £700, and the Estimate of Messrs. Dennis Bros. for carrying out all necessary repairs and renovating the Engine, painting, and supplying Ladder, for £104.17.0. accepted. The Chairman also read a letter which he had received from Messrs. Dennis Bros. stating that on examination of the Engine they found it to be in a thoroughly satisfactory condition.

George Mallory

Dateline 8th. June 1924:

Godalming man George Mallory, lost on Everest
in his attempt at the summit.

Dennis and crew at Meadrow
Godalming's Dennis Circa 1935


Dennis and crew at the rear of Queen Street Station

Firemen at the rear of Queen Street Station 1935

                                   Septr. 14th.                                FIRE BRIGADE COMMITTEE.
                                 ----------                      ----------------------------
                                                                                        Present  -
                                  MR ALDERMAN PILCHER  in  the   chair,
COUNCILLORS Phillips, Harrison, Woods Fisk,
Dunolly, Parfrement and Patton.
Chief Officer Knight and 2nd Officer Gates.

                                                     Arising on the minutes of the previous meeting
LATE DRIVER the Secretary reported that Mr Winter (late Driver)
WINTER'S had handed in his keys of the Fire Station, and
EQUIPMENT. old uniform.

It was agreed that no further action be taken
in the matter.
                                                      Reports on the following fires were submitted -
(1). 5th May, 1936.
Chimney fire at "Brakenwood",
Salt Lane, Hyde Stile.
Expenses £6. 1. 0.
(2). 13th May, 1936.
Chimney fire at "Elam Villa",
Farncombe Hill.
Expenses £4. 5. 6.
REPORTS (3). 16th May, 1936. Heath fire, Wormley Hill,
Witley. ON Expenses £12. 11. 0.
(4). 22nd May, 1936. Chimney fire, No. 7, The Mint.
FIRES. Expenses £8. 2. 0.
(5). 28th July, 1936.
Storeroom occupied by Messrs.
H.W. Siggs & Co. at St John's
Street, Farncombe.
Expenses £8. 17. 6.
(6). 17August, 1936.
Motor Car on fire in Church
Expenses £4. 2. 6.
(7). 12th Sept, 1936 False Alarm.
The only explanation of this
call is that lightening caused
the alarm bell at the Gas Works
to ring.
Expenses £3. 12. 6. irrecoverable.
                                                     It was resolved to recommend the Council -
That twenty 50ft. lengths of "Camel" quality

canvas hose, complete with couplings, be purchased
HOSE from Messrs. Reddaway & Co., at a cost of £76. 3. 4.
This hose is required to re-place old and
worn-out hose, and provision was made for it's
purchase in the current estimates.
                                                       It was agreed that a further set of "Salvus"
"SALVUS" Breathing apparatus be purchased from Messrs. Siebe
Gorman & Co. ,at a cost of £17. 6. 0.
APPARATUS. This apparatus is designed to combat ammonia fumes generated by freezing plant, and is in
general use throughout the country.
The Brigade already possess one set, and it was
aggreed by the Committee in February last that a
second set should be purchased during this year.
                                              The purchase of the following new uniform
&c required was approved, viz;-
Estimated Cost.
Chief Officer Knight. Boots. . . . £2.
0. 0.
PURCHASE 2nd Officer Gates, Serge 
Jacket. . . . 1. 15. 0.
OF Hat . . . . 15. 0.
Fireman Bridger. Trousers. . . . 1. 3. 6.
UNIFORMS. '' Portt. " . . . . 1. 3. 6.
Rainbird " . . . . 1. 3. 6.
Heade Senr. Tunic . . . . 2. 9. 6. " Boots . . . . 1. 13. 0.
" Titcomb. Boots . . . . 1. 13. 0.
" Merritt Jr. Leggings . . . 7. 6.
£14. 6. 3.
The purchase of the following equipment
required was approved, viz;-
1 new standpost . . . . . Estimated cost  £4 0. 0.
1 adaptor, for use with the Haslemere
Fire Brigade . . . . . Estimated cost.
15. 0.
£4. 15.
                                                    The Secretary reported that Mr. Macleish of
RETAINING "Knightons", Dunsfold, had been added to the list of
retainers outside the Borough entitled to call for
the services of the Brigade, at an annual retaining
fee of £1.
1. 0.
                                                   A letter was read from the Clerk of the Thursley
Parish Council that he had been requested by the
Parish Council to ascertain whether the Corporation
would be willing to come to an arrangement for the
taking over of the fire protection services of the
Parish of Thursley, and upon what terms. The present
FIRE rateable value of the Parish was about £4,000.
PROTECTION The Officers of the Brigade have inspected the
area, and are of the opinion that the Brigade can deal PARISH. with the added area. The terms upon which the Council recently undertook the fire protection of the Parish of Witley are 1/2d in the £ on the rateable value of the Parish.



Campaign began to recruit personnel to join an Auxiliary Fire Service. They were trained by Whole-time Firemen at their local Fire Station on a weekly basis, and were used full-time during the second war to assist with fire-fighting. The AFS was disbanded in 1968.

Humorous Postcard
Humorous Postcard
Early postcard humour!



Fire Photo
Fire Photo

Fire Photo

Somewhere in Godalming!
photos courtesy of Judith A Readings


Brass fire helmets replaced by a stronger helmet constructed of cork.
(brass helmets had been used for approx. 70 years)

18th. August 1941:

National Fire Service formed to amalgamate the country's Fire Brigades throughout the war.

1st. April 1948:

Surrey Fire Brigade is born following the disbanding of the National Fire Service. Surrey County Council is now responsible for the running of the brigade.

Mick Mills
Dateline January 4th. 1949:

Footballer Mick Mills MBE born.
lived in Aarons Hill Godalming .

Opening of our Brigade HQ at Reigate 1955


Surrey was the first brigade in the country to take emergency calls at a central location. Prior to this calls were directed to individual fire stations.



Brigade gets new cutting equipment! 1968

Circa 1970
Photo courtesy of Richard West

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