Page 17 - November 2021
P. 17

Massey Shaw Historic Fire Fighting Display Event
 The Company presented the first MASSEY SHAW HISTORIC FIRE FIGHTING DISPLAY event since the Covid lockdown.
On 15th August 2021 the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Council held their postponed Becontree 100 Festival at Parsloes Park Dagenham. There was “fun for all” with arena demonstrations, cultural food, children’s activities a funfair during the day, and a music festival live on stage during the evening.
On behalf of the Company, Liverymen Tony and Chris Drewitt put on an excellent arena display of Victorian firefighting using their 1889 Shand Mason 22 Man Manual Horse Drawn fire engine. The appliance was made for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and located at Marlborough Street fire station in Soho where it supported a horse drawn Steamer type. Manual pumps were withdrawn at the turn of the 19th Century, many becoming personnel carriers. Thankfully this example remained in its’ absolute original condition, if not perhaps just a little tired.
This beautiful appliance is now owned by Christopher who bought it some 20 years ago from Past Master Bruce Hoad, since when
it has had a complete restoration into full working order. When “got to work” it is still capable of pumping 115 gallons of water per minute and throwing a jet of water 125 feet into the air.
Many of us have seen this appliance before as the Company used it in the 2016 Lord Mayors Show on the occasion that we remembered the 350th Anniversary of the Great fire of London.
In the arena Liveryman Tony gave a full explanation of the appliance and “set the scene” for the audience by explaining where the term “all hands to the pumps” came from. From this we were able to encourage and recruit 22 volunteers to help pump the appliance in anger and create two working firefighting jets.
The appliance was then galloped into arena pulled by two beautiful coaching horses owned and trained by Mr Ben Turner from Capel in Surrey. The crew on the day comprised Ben Turner, Sam and Anthony How, Christopher Drewitt and Lily Baldaro.
These gentle giants, Nevada, an 8 year old Irish warm blood at 17 hands high, and Utah a 16 year old Dutch warm blood at 16 hands high, have spent a year working
together during lockdown and training in preparation for the start of the show season post lockdown. Their first outing was to the Windsor Horse Show earlier this year where they achieved second place in the coaching marathon. This was then followed by a complete change of duty performing with the Shand Mason fire appliance.
After circling the arena for the enjoyment of the audience the appliance was set in position for firefighting duty and the horses removed. Then came the volunteers to enjoy their afternoons activity! Their efforts enabled two excellent firefighting jets to be got to work!
In addition, our friends from LFB Dagenham Fire Station joined us for a short while during their safety and familiarisation visit to the Becontree 100 Festival site.
In conclusion, our grateful thanks go to Liverymen Chris and Tony, along with their team, for representing the Company and putting on such an excellent demonstration of firefighting of the Victorian age.
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Past Master Peter Cowland Almanor

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